The Recording Academy has made a number of changes to the 66th Annual GRAMMYs process, which is set to take place on February 4th, 2024. Three major updates include the addition of new categories, updates within the “Big Four” categories, and a warning to AI products.
The Orchard refers to The Recording Academy for all information. Stay tuned here for more official updates.
Three New Categories
There are three new exciting categories established for the upcoming awards: Best Pop Dance Recording, Best African Music Performance, and Best Alternative Jazz Album. With these additional awards, the GRAMMYs will now have 94 total award categories. These awards will allow for unique local expressions of music and more genres represented.
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.
Updates To “Big Four” Categories
The “Big Four” categories include Best Album, Record of The Year, Song of The Year, and Best New Artist. The number of nominees for the Big Four categories has been adjusted from 10 to 8 nominees in each category.
The Big Four will also expand to include the following awards: Producer of The Year, Non-Classical, and Songwriter of The Year. Since voters are allowed to cast their votes for every award in the general field, this will allow for more recognition of their excellence.
Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, and Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical will have five nominees in each category.
Beware of AI
The Academy has added precautions about the use of A.I. generated music by saying:
“Only human creators are eligible to be submitted for consideration for, nominated for, or win a Grammy Award. A work that contains no human authorship is not eligible in any categories.”