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Grammy Awards’ new category, Best African Music Performance includes Ghana’s Highlife, Asakaa & Afropop genres!

Following months of speculation, it has been confirmed that a new category, Best African Music Performance, dedicated to Afrobeats and African music has been added to the Grammy Awards scheme.

The Recording Academy of the Grammy Awards has made a groundbreaking announcement that has sent waves of excitement through the global music community.

The initiative to represent African music more accurately was sparked during Harvey Manson Jr.’s, the CEO of the Recording Academy, official visit to Ghana in 2022. Manson reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to providing an authentic representation of the diverse musical landscape of the continent.

The 2024 Grammy Awards will feature three eagerly anticipated new categories, with the most highly anticipated being the “Best African Music Performance.” This category will celebrate exceptional recordings that showcase unique local expressions from across Africa.

The newly introduced category aims to honor the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic traditions that vary across the continent. It encompasses a wide range of genres, including 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.

In addition to the groundbreaking Best African Music Performance category, the Recording Academy has also introduced the “Best Alternative Jazz Album” and “Best Pop Dance Recording” categories. This expansion reflects the Academy’s commitment to recognizing a diverse array of musical genres.

The decision to introduce these new categories was made during the Recording Academy’s semiannual Board of Trustees meeting held in May 2023, following a rigorous voting process. The changes demonstrate the Academy’s dedication to actively listening and responding to feedback from the music community. By embracing a wider range of relevant musical genres, the Recording Academy aims to stay in sync with the ever-evolving musical landscape.

Harvey Mason Jr., the CEO of the Recording Academy, expressed his pride in unveiling these significant changes, emphasizing the Academy’s commitment to acknowledging a broader array of artists. The relocation of the Producer of the Year and Songwriter of the Year categories to the General Field ensures that all voters can participate in recognizing excellence in these fields. Mason further stated, “We are thrilled to honor and celebrate the creators and recordings in these categories while also introducing a wider range of music to fans worldwide.”

The introduction of the Best African Music Performance category marks a monumental moment for African artists, providing them with a dedicated platform to showcase their remarkable talent on a global stage. This inclusion not only highlights the rich diversity of African music but also paves the way for increased recognition and appreciation of African artists within the global music industry.

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Emmanuel Ghansah, Ghana Music

Singer, Songwriter, scriptwriter, blogger, lover of the creative arts, brands and communications expert.

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