The Recording Academy has passed a vote to include three new categories for the 2024 Grammy Awards and it’s now official.
Best African Music Performance, Best Pop Dance Recording, and Best Alternative Jazz Album will be included in the 66th Grammys, adding to the already 94 categories.
What this means for African musicians
Over the years, African artists including Burna Boy, Nasty C, Tems, and Wizkid have been instrumental in growing African music to global markets. And with the rise of Afrobeats, many East and West African artists have found international recognition, becoming chart-topping superstars.
Previously, African-based songs ruled in nominations in the Global Music Performance category, where other genres such as K-Pop and Latin music could also be found. At the 65th Grammy Awards ceremony, South African singer and producer, Zakes Bantwini won his first Grammy in the category for his song, Bayethe with Wouter Kellerman and Nomcebo Zikode.
With the addition of the new category, many African musicians will be recognized for their artistry and given a chance to compete amongst one another.
The category highlights regional melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic musical traditions. It includes but is not limited to the Afrobeats, Afro-fusion, Afro-Pop, 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.
“The Recording Academy is proud to announce these latest Category changes to our Awards process. 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,” expressed the Recording Academy CEO, Harvey Mason Jr.
“By introducing these three new categories, we are able to acknowledge and appreciate a broader array of artists. 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.”
These changes are sure to make a significant difference as they will expand the reach of African music and its creators, offering them the opportunity to compete for the prestigious award.