The 66th Annual Grammy Awards will feature a new music category dedicated to African music, known as the Best African Music Performance. This addition was announced by the Recording Academy, along with two other new categories: Best Alternative Jazz Album and Best Pop Dance Recording. Furthermore, the existing categories of producer of the year, non-classical, and songwriter of the year, non-classical will be relocated to the general field.
These category additions and changes were approved at the Recording Academy’s recent semiannual Board of Trustees meeting, which took place last month. Harvey Mason Jr., the CEO of the Recording Academy, expressed that these new categories showcase the wide range of relevant musical genres and reflect the Academy’s commitment to actively listening and responding to feedback from the music community, as well as representing diverse musical genres and staying in tune with the ever-changing musical landscape.
The creation of the African music category recognizes recordings that incorporate distinct local expressions from various parts of the African continent. The category encompasses genres such as 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, among others.