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The Recording Academy, which presents the Grammy Awards, announced three categories for 2024 show. They recognize Afrobeats music as well as genre-blending jazz and pop dance music genres. Producer of the Year Non Classical (POYNC), Producer of Year Classical NonClassical (POYNC), as well as Songwriter of Year Classical categories will all move to what the Grammys refer to as General Field where all Grammy voters can cast votes in them. Best African Music Performance Recording Academy has made history by unveiling three brand new categories at this year's Grammy Awards ceremony, including an inaugural Best African Music Performance category - much to the delight of African music lovers across the continent. The new category will honor recordings that honor African musical traditions while using local expressions, including Afrobeat, Afrofusion, Afro Pop, Afrobeats Alte Bongo Flava Genge Kizomba Chimurenga High Life Fuji Kwassa Ndombolo Mapouka Ghana Drill Afro House and Ethio Jazz genres among them. This category will see musicians from various parts of Africa competing against one another to win one of these coveted awards. The Grammy's are widely considered to be the gold standard in music, so winning a trophy represents an amazing milestone for any musician - however for African artists it can often prove challenging since competition exists with world music artists under this particular category of the awards show. The Grammys have just unveiled a best African music performance category which will replace the existing world music category. This decision was approved and passed at a Board of Trustees meeting of Recording Academy, taking effect for their 66th Grammy Awards live telecast scheduled to air live in 2024. Importantly, this category will be the only new one introduced at this year's ceremony - however, this organization has a history of adding categories. Looking back through their history, many other categories were created in order to honor and celebrate all forms of music genres as well as talent that accompany them. African music enthusiasts will rejoice at the new category's inclusion, as it acknowledges Afrobeats' immense impact in recent times. While artists such as Burna Boy, Wizkid and Tems receive due recognition, there's still work ahead for African music to make an impactful statement about global music trends. Best Pop Dance Recording The Grammys have made significant changes to their awards categories ahead of next year's show, adding three new recognition categories for African music, alternative jazz, and dance. They will join best global music performance at the 66th annual Grammy Awards ceremony scheduled for 2024, while current categories such as producer of the year (non-classical) and songwriter of the year (non-classical) will move into general field voting so all Grammy voters may vote. The newly introduced category for best pop dance recording will recognize songs with up-tempo, danceable music that follows a pop arrangement and features strong rhythmic beats and significant electronic instruments with an emphasis on vocal performance, melody and hooks. Remixes will also be honored. Previously, dance and electronic songs competed under one umbrella category known as best dance/electronic album which saw winners such as Beyonce, Drake, Skrillex and Rufus Du Sol take home awards. A new category for "Best Alternative Jazz Album" will recognize recordings that combine jazz with other forms of music such as R&B, hip-hop, contemporary improvisation, pop, rap or rock. Existing categories like best jazz instrumental album will remain open for voting by all Grammy voters. Finally, the newly introduced category for Best African Music Performance will honor "regional melodic, harmonic and rhythmic musical traditions," organizers note. Genres including Afrobeats, Amapiano, Highlife, Alte Fuji and Kwassa may all qualify. These changes mark another move by the Recording Academy to modernize its award categories and more appropriately reflect its diverse musical genres, while last year announcing it would create a category to recognize artists using their platform for social change. Opinions remain divided as to whether having too many Grammy categories devalues them; however, with dance/electronic and African music now recognized by the Recording Academy, their expanding categories show they recognize all aspects of industry it encompasses. They are even considering adding Latin music as another category in future awards shows this commitment from them. Best Alternative Jazz Album For years, the Grammy Awards largely disregarded genres from non-Western societies by categorizing them under "Global Music." That has begun to change this year following a vote at the Recording Academy's Board of Trustees meeting last month, when three new categories - including Best African Music Performance and Alternative Jazz Album - were added this year's awards ceremony ceremony. Also, existing producer of the year and songwriter of the year categories have been moved out from criteria-based restrictions such as genre restrictions. The new categories aim to honor artists who "produce and perform world music that honors regional melodic, harmonic and rhythmic musical traditions," as stated by the Grammys. This marks an improvement over previous "Global Music" category which ignored many African styles like Afrobeats, Amapiano, High Life Fuji Alte among others compared with those who specialize in EDM or other global genres such as EDM or Fuji Alte. This is especially evident for the best alternative jazz album category, designed to honour genre-bending and boundary pushing. This new category will recognize recordings that "incorporate genre-blending and other innovative techniques that creatively combine elements of jazz with other musical genres such as R&B, hip-hop, contemporary improvisation classical experimental pop or rap." African musicians should take heart from these changes; many struggle to receive recognition at home and internationally for their efforts. With more people being exposed to their music at the Grammys, more African musicians will get their work seen by more viewers; an invaluable opportunity for many African artists. Muyumba finds these categories to be an effective way to recognize and celebrate Africa's vast musical legacy; yet he believes their inclusion still falls short: it seems they may have introduced them simply in order to compensate for certain genres that had previously been neglected, according to him. As the Afrobeat scene continues to flourish and gain worldwide recognition, its musicality has propelled artists such as Wizkid and Burna Boy to rise through the ranks; both received nominations this year in both Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best Dance Recording categories. Best Rap Album The 66th Grammy Awards will feature 94 categories for nomination and winners of the renowned golden gramophone, with best dance album, African music performance and alternative jazz album being added as new categories by the Recording Academy to better recognize artists across global music scenes. By adding these new categories more accurately reflect our globalized musical landscape influenced by genres from around the globe, such as dance music albums from across Africa or alternative jazz albums from around the globe, The Best Dance Album category will recognize songs that are up-tempo, danceable and follow a pop arrangement. This category also recognizes recordings that contain significant electronic-based instruments while emphasizing vocal performances, melodies, hooks and melodies. While dance and hip-hop artists have had great success winning this category in past years, there has been less recognition given to other forms of music in this subgenre which do not fall under mainstream classification - giving artists like Drake and SZA more of a chance of nomination than before. Formerly, Grammys attempts at accommodating dance/electronic music fell into two existing categories for recording and album of the year - creating an inconsistent selection of sounds and styles being nominated for these awards. By creating the new best dance album category fans will have more clarity when voting for their favorites albums. Kendrick Lamar scored double wins this year for both rap song and album with Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, an album which explores traumas from Lamar's past that have affected him deeply. This victory marks his third in this category after To Pimp a Butterfly and Damn. Since 1996, this category has seen many high-profile winners such as Eminem, Lauryn Hill and Kanye West take home four awards between them; Eminem has won this accolade four times; Lamar three; recently, Chance the Rapper and Cardi B made history by becoming the first artists ever to win an award with mixtape releases (Coloring Book and Invasion of Privacy respectively). Now with an official Best Rap Album category available more black artists may gain the recognition enjoyed by artists like Eminem, Kanye West or Lauryn Hill over time.