‘Song for social change’ added with new categories to Grammy Awards

First female wins Reggae Grammy: First Black First Lady takes one too

A new Special Merit Award will be presented to an individual or group during the 65 th annual Grammy Awards ceremony next year.
According to the National Academy of Recording and Sciences, the membership decided to revise the music industry’s gala presentation by adding a “Best Song For Social Change” category to 91 already established genres.
Slated for a formal announcement on Nov. 15, the decision will introduce finalists worthy of contending for the first annual prize that rewards lyrics which “celebrates a song that addresses a timely social issue and promotes understanding, peace building and empathy.”
In other words, the selection should provide thematic accompaniment for a current social cause.
The addition is among several landmark changes to the recording industry’s roster of enhancements slated for a big reveal next week during announcements of the 2022 finalists.
Along with a reward to a socially conscientious recording, the Academy approved five new categories for acknowledgement to previously unheralded creators.
Going forward the competitive contest will include — 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.
“We are so excited to celebrate all of this year’s Grammy nominees who contributed to such a prolific year in music,” Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy said.
“With the addition of five new categories and a new, diverse class of voting members, we look forward to honoring all of this incredible music and the people who made it.”
Reportedly one week ago, Mason addressed the Jamaican music fraternity which has relentlessly pleaded and petitioned for an addition to the singular Best Reggae Album nod they are afforded.
“If the Dancehall community wanted its own category, and they felt so strongly about it,” they should submit a proposal and with the right reasons, justification and requisite signatories, it could be done.”
But in reality, it is easier said than done.
Members of the Jamaica Federation of Music have been advocating for a second category to no avail.
What is perhaps the most persuasive action might be to increase membership within the Academy by becoming dues-paying voters.
Jamaica’s Dancehall artists have included Shaggy, Sean Paul, Shabba Ranks, Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Koffee, — who all won in the Best Reggae Album category.
Some believe they are unfairly categorized to the deprivation of traditional reggae recorders who are forced to compete in the single genre.
Recently Sharon Burke, a power broker on the island said “Let’s lobby for Dancehall to have its own category.”
The president of Solid Agency proposed flooding the Academy with requests.
Others contend that mediocre content of releases has hampered opportunities to increase the quota.
The anticipated list of contenders for next year’s golden gramophones are considered the best contributors to the 2022 catalog of global sounds and winners will be rewarded on Feb. 5 in Los Angeles, California during a televised presentation ceremony.
Reputed as the benchmark to celebrate artistic excellence and also define the year in music, the Grammy Awards is regarded as ‘music’s only peer-recognized accolade boasting a membership body of music creators representing all genres and creative disciplines.’
It is their voting process that determines the nominees and winners on a date often referred to as Music’s Biggest Night.
The gala presentation for the 65th Annual Grammy Awards will return to Los Angeles, California’s Crypto.com Arena in 2023.

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