The Grammys Finally Add African Music Performance Among Three New Award Categories

African Music Performance is among three new categories coming to the 66th Grammy Awards in 2024.

The Recording Academy’s Board of Trustees voted to include three new categories to the Grammy Awards: Best African Music Performance, Best Pop Dance Recording, and Best Alternative Jazz Album, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

A meeting was held last month that resulted in the total number of categories increasing to 94. The addition of Best African Music highlights the significant rise of Afrobeats in mainstream music, with acts like Wizkid, Burna Boy, and Tems all winning Grammys from their chart-topping hits.

On June 13, the Grammys announced the three new award categories on social media.

After noticing how Afrobeats dominated the nominees within the Global Music category that launched in 2022, the new Best African Music category aims to “recognize recordings that utilize unique local expressions from across the African continent,” the Academy stated.

Along with Afrobeats, other subgenres include Afro-fusion, Afro-pop, Bongo Flava, Ethio jazz, Kizomba, High Life, Fuji, Ndombolo, Mapouka, Ghanaian drill, Afro-house and South African hip-hop.

“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,” Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the academy, said in a statement.

“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.”

With African music receiving its own Grammy category, it leaves room for other genres like Latin music, K-pop, and Arabic music to earn nominations within the global music category.

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