The Recording Academy has made significant additions to the Grammy Awards, including the introduction of the Best African Music Performance category. The decision comes in recognition of the global success of African acts such as Burna Boy, Wizkid, and Tems, as well as the rise of the Afrobeats genre. With this new category, the Grammys aim to honor recordings that showcase unique expressions from across the African continent, spanning various subgenres like Afrobeats, Afro-fusion, Afro pop, Bongo Flava, Ethio jazz, Kizomba, High Life, Fuji, Ndombolo, Mapouka, Ghanaian drill, Afro-house, and South African hip-hop.
Previously, African-based songs were prominent in the nominations for the Best Global Music Performance category, which debuted in 2022. The introduction of the Best African Music Performance category will allow global songs from other genres, such as Latin music, K-pop, and Arabic music, a better chance at earning nominations for the prestigious award.
In addition to recognizing African music, the Grammys have also added the Best Pop Dance Recording and Best Alternative Jazz Album categories. The Best Pop Dance Recording category provides an opportunity for pop stars who release dance-flavored music to earn nominations without directly competing with artists primarily focused on dance music. This change offers more chances for pop acts that don’t cross over into other genres to receive nominations in multiple categories.
The Best Alternative Jazz Album award acknowledges genre-blending and innovative works that fuse jazz with other genres such as R&B, hip-hop, classical, contemporary improvisation, experimental, pop, rap, electronic/dance music, and spoken word.
Furthermore, the Grammys have moved two categories—Producer of the Year (non-classical) and Songwriter of the Year (non-classical)—to the general field, allowing all voters to participate in recognizing excellence in these fields. These changes reflect the Recording Academy’s commitment to diversity, representing a wide range of relevant musical genres, and staying aligned with the dynamic and ever-evolving musical landscape.
The eligibility period for nominations for the 66th Grammys will cover songs and albums released between October 1, 2022, and September 15, 2023. The nominees will be announced in November, and the awards ceremony is scheduled to take place in early 2024. With these new categories, the Grammys aim to celebrate and honor a broader array of artists while exposing a wider range of music to fans worldwide.