The 66th GRAMMY Awards, which will take place in February 2024, will feature three new categories to celebrate a wider range of musical genres and artists. The Recording Academy, the organization behind the prestigious awards, announced the new additions after its board of trustees meeting in May 2023.
The new categories are Best African Music Performance, Best Alternative Jazz Album, and Best Pop Dance Recording. The Best African Music Performance category will honor recordings that showcase diverse and unique expressions from across the African continent, highlighting regional musical traditions and genres such as Afrobeat, Amapiano, Ghanaian Drill, and Ethio Jazz.
The Best Alternative Jazz Album category will recognize albums that explore innovative and experimental approaches to jazz music, blending elements from other genres and styles. The Best Pop Dance Recording category will acknowledge tracks and singles that feature upbeat, danceable music that follows a pop arrangement, with an emphasis on vocal performance, melody, and hooks.
In addition to the new categories, the Recording Academy also announced that two existing categories — Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical and Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical — will be moved to the General Field. This means that all GRAMMY voters can vote in these categories without using up a field. The General Field has traditionally consisted of four categories — Album Of The Year, Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best New Artist.
“The Recording Academy is proud to announce these latest category changes to our awards process,” Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. said in a statement. “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.”
The new categories, especially the Best African Music Performance, will amplify and expand the reach of African music and its creators.