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Grammy Awards Created A New Category For Ghanaian Drill And Highlife

This comes after news broke that the scheme was considering creating a category for Afrobeats (to represent music from Africa).

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Recording Academy, Harvey Manson Jnr. upon his visit to Ghana in 2022 reiterated the move and mentioned how meticulous they were in getting the right representation for African music.

The Recording Academy has added three new Categories: Best African Music Performance, Best Alternative Jazz Album and Best Pop Dance Recording. These new categories will be introduced at the 2024 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 66th GRAMMY Awards:


Additionally, the existing Categories of Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical and Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical will be moved to the General Field; this significant change will allow all GRAMMY voters to vote in these important, non-genre-specific Categories.


These Category additions and amendments were voted on and passed at the Recording Academy’s most recent semiannual Board of Trustees meeting held in May 2023.


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“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,” Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. said


“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,” Mason continued. “We are excited to honour and celebrate the creators and recordings in these categories, while also exposing a wider range of music to fans worldwide.”

Here’s a breakdown of the three new GRAMMY Award Categories:

Best African Music Performance

A track and singles Category that recognizes recordings that utilize unique local expressions from across the African continent. Highlighting regional melodic, harmonic and rhythmic musical traditions, the Category includes but is not limited to the Afrobeat, Afro-fusion, Afro Pop, Afrobeats, Alte, Amapiano, Bongo Flava, Genge, Kizomba, Chimurenga, High Life, Fuji, Kwassa, Ndombolo, Mapouka, Ghanaian Drill, Afro-House, South African Hip-Hop, and Ethio Jazz genres.

Best Pop Dance Recording

Recognizes tracks and singles that feature up-tempo, danceable music that follows a pop arrangement. Eligible Pop Dance recordings also feature strong rhythmic beats and significant electronic-based instruments with an emphasis on the vocal performance, melody and hooks. Dance remixes are eligible in the Best Remixed Recording Category only and may not be entered in Best Pop Dance Recording.

Best Alternative Jazz Album

This Category recognizes artistic excellence in Alternative Jazz albums by individuals, duos and groups/ensembles, with or without vocals. Alternative Jazz may be defined as a genre-blending, envelope-pushing hybrid that mixes jazz (improvisation, interaction, harmony, rhythm, arrangements, composition, and style) with other genres, including R&B, Hip-Hop, Classical, Contemporary Improvisation, Experimental, Pop, Rap, Electronic/Dance music, and/or Spoken Word. It may also include the contemporary production techniques/instrumentation associated with other genres.

The Recording Academy accepts proposals from members of the music community throughout the year. The Awards & Nominations Committee, composed of Academy Voting Members of diverse genres and backgrounds, meets annually to review proposals to update Awards categories, procedures and eligibility guidelines.

The Recording Academy is thrilled about these important developments to be debuted at the 2024 GRAMMYs. Keep watching this space for more information about Music’s Biggest Night!




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