Five new categories have been added to the 2023 GRAMMY awards lists: Songwriter Of The Year (Non-Classical), Best Alternative Music Performance, Best Americana Music Performance, Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games and Other Interactive Media, and Best Spoken Word Poetry Album. The Recording Academy has revealed the Special Merit Award will be up for grabs for the Best Song For Social Change.
“We’re so excited to honor these diverse communities of music creators through the newly established awards and amendments, and to continue cultivating an environment that inspires change, progress and collaboration,” states Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. on the exciting new changes. “The Academy’s top priority is to effectively represent the music people that we serve, and each year, that entails listening to our members and ensuring our rules and guidelines reflect our ever-evolving industry.”
According to the Recording Academy, the changes were made to acknowledge the “concerns and opinions of their membership body through their annual process of accepting proposals from the music creators and professionals” and strengthen their commitment to “evolve with the ever-changing musical landscape.”
The 2022 GRAMMYs did spark a bit of controversy when many viewers voiced that artists like Lil Nas X and nominees for Best Reggae Album were snubbed. The “Montero” star lost all five categories he was named in including Song of the Year—although, he arguably had one of the biggest songs of the year. The Recording Academy also awarded SOJA, a predominantly white band, with Best Reggae Album over Spice, Sean Paul, Jesse Royal, Gramps Morgan, and Etana.
Check out the new categories to be added to the 65th GRAMMY Awards and their descriptions below.
Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical
Recognizes the written excellence, profession and art of songwriting honoring the most prolific non-performing and non-producing songwriters for their body of new work released during an eligibility year.
Best Alternative Music Performance
A track and single Category that recognizes the best recordings in an alternative performance by a solo artist, collaborating artists, established duo, or established group.
Best Americana Performance
A track and single Category that recognizes artistic excellence in an Americana performance by a solo artist, collaborating artists, established duo, or established group.
Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games And Other Interactive Media
Recognizes excellence in score soundtrack albums comprised predominately of original scores and created specifically for, or as a companion to, a current video game or other interactive media released within the qualification period.
Best Spoken Word Poetry Album
An album Category that recognizes excellence in spoken word albums specific to the performance of poetry with or without music.
Special Merit Award: Best Song For Social Change
This Special Merit Award will be determined by a Blue Ribbon Committee and ratified by the Recording Academy Board of Trustees. Submissions must contain lyrical content that addresses a timely social issue and promotes understanding, peacebuilding and empathy.