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The New Categories And Amendments Made By The Recording Academy

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The Recording Academy has announced five new GRAMMY Awards categories to be awarded at the 2023 GRAMMYs. Songwriting, meditative sounds, video game soundtracks, spoken word poetry, socially conscious songs, classical & opera, and others are now going to be categorized in the 2023 GRAMMYs.

On June 9, the Recording Academy announced some exciting, new changes going into effect at the 2023 GRAMMYs, including the introduction of five new GRAMMY

Awards categories: Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical; Best Alternative Music Performance; Best Americana Performance; Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games And Other Interactive Media; and Best Spoken Word Poetry Album.

While the Recording Academy has honored producers and artists with GRAMMYs for decades, songwriters are getting a much-deserved standalone category next year: Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical.

In effect, the Songwriter Of The Year category serves to further highlight the arts in “National Academy Of Recording Arts And Sciences,” celebrating professional songwriters behind the curtain of the songs that have changed our lives.

“We want people to understand that there are people behind these songs, who create a piece of art from nothing,” Susan Stewart, Managing Director of the Recording Academy’s Songwriters & Composers Wing said. “We want to make sure they’re recognized. It’s an amazing profession.”

By the looks of the 2022 GRAMMYs winners and nominees — Brandi Carlile, Glass Animals, Japanese Breakfast, St. Vincent, Yola, et al — we’re in a boom period for Americana and alternative music.

The Recording Academy reflected this by expanding both fields, introducing the categories of Best Alternative Music Performance and Best Americana Performance.

Video games have also generated massive revenue since their invention, but the market is particularly exploding today — partly due to the pandemic. According to Bloomberg, global games market revenue is forecast to reach $219 billion by 2024.

Ever perceptive of the rise of gaming and gaming-related music, the Recording Academy is introducing a new GRAMMY category for Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games And Other Interactive Media.

Socially conscious songs by artists like Childish Gambino (“This Is America”) and H.E.R. (“Fight For You”) have dotted GRAMMY nominations and winners lists in recent years.

And while those songs wholly deserved their places in categories like Song Of The Year, the current sociopolitical landscape demands that songs with a social-justice tint get their own breathing room to flourish at the GRAMMYs.

For the 2023 GRAMMYs, the Recording Academy is introducing a brand-new Special Merit Award: Best Song For Social Change. Determined by a Blue Ribbon Committee and ratified by the Recording Academy Board of Trustees, this honor celebrates songs that address timely social issues and promote understanding, peace-building and empathy.

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Given that the Recording Academy is spearheading Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) as industry leaders in music, the institution of the Best Song For Social Change category makes total sense. For not only does it reflect the values of the Recording Academy — it reflects the world we live in today.

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Does “Best New Age Album” fully encapsulate the spectrum of meditative and atmospheric music? Clearly, a larger blanket was needed — for artists ranging from traditional chant to beguiling ambient soundscapes and everything in between.

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Thus, the Academy has renamed and redefined the GRAMMY field and category to celebrate all of the expansive genre: New Age, Ambient Or Chant.

Category definitions in the Classical Field have been updated to award composers and librettists in addition to artists, producers and engineers.

In the Musical Theater Field, the category definitions have been updated to award composers and lyricists of more than 50% of the score of a new recording.

(Elsewhere, the Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media category will now recognize principal artists and in-studio producers.)

With all of these combined updates, even more creators of diverse roles and backgrounds will now be represented and celebrated in the GRAMMYs sphere.

Credits – Recording Academy

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