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Grammys Announce New Award Categories

The Recording Academy of the United States added three new categories to the Grammy Awards show.

The latest categories added are Best Pop Dance Recording, Best African Music Performance, and Best Alternative Jazz Album. This update extends the number of categories from 91 to 94. On an additional note, the Recording Academy moved two pre-existing categories, Producer of the Year, Non-Classical and Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical, to the General Field.

The General Field is better known as the Big Four categories. These include Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist. So now, the Big Four are the Big Six.The General Field is a unique group of categories as they are not restricted by genre or anything else. Also, the General Field is unique as the nomination and voting process is open to all Academy voting members. These are the awards that artists and fans alike attend or tune into the show for. It is a welcome update to add Songwriter of the Year and Producer of the Year to this prestigious group. These two categories are highly respected and deserve more recognition. An added bonus is the producers and engineers in the General Field will now receive actually awards instead of certificates.

On social media, there is debate on whether or not new categories are a good thing. Some fans are worried about Best Pop Dance Recording, as they fear this means the long wished-for Best Pop Song category is never going to happen now. While the category names sound similar, differences in sub-genres are night and day. Pop Dance and the entire genre of Pop itself are not the same thing.

The Future of the Grammys

Regarding the new categories, Harvey Mason Jr., the Recording Academy CEO, said the following in a press release:

“The Recording Academy is proud to announce these latest Category changes to our Awards process. These changes reflect our commitment to actively listen and respond to the feedback from our music community, accurately represent a diverse range of relevant musical genres, and stay aligned with the ever-evolving musical landscape. By introducing these three new categories, we are able to acknowledge and appreciate a broader array of artists – and relocating the producer of the year and songwriter of the year categories to the general field ensures that all our voters can participate in recognizing excellence in these fields. We are excited to honor and celebrate the creators and recordings in these categories, while also exposing a wider range of music to fans worldwide.”

Already, social media is buzzing about possible winners at the upcoming 66th Grammys. Artists like SZA, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, BTS, Miley Cyrus, and more are the hottest names part of the conversation. “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus is a possible contender for Record of the Year. As is Taylor Swift’s “Anti-Hero,” SZA‘s “Kill Bill,” and Morgan Wallen’s “Last Night.”

Eligibility for the upcoming ceremony runs from October 1, 2022, through September 15, 2023. As of today, nominees are officially unknown. Expect new information later this fall.

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