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Grammy Awards Add New Categories, Rules

The Recording Academy has announced new categories, process amendments and updates for the 65th Grammy Awards.

Recording Academy grammys grammy awards
Image: Recording Academy

Santa Monica, CA (June 14, 2022)—The Recording Academy has announced that a slew of new categories, process amendments and updates will go into effect for the 65th Grammy Awards, which will be held in 2023.

Chief among the changes is the addition of five new categories, including Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical. According to the academy’s statement, this new award category “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.”

The four other new categories include:

Best Alternative Music Performance, recognizing the best track or single recordings in an alternative performance by a solo artist, collaborating artists, established duo, or established group;

Best Americana Performance, honoring artistic excellence in an Americana performance on a track or single by a solo artist, collaborating artists, established duo, or established group;

Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media, which will recognize 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, recognizing excellence in spoken word albums specific to the performance of poetry with or without music.

A new Special Merit Award has also been added. It will be awarded for Best Song for Social Change and 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.”

The academy has also made changes to some of its procedures. All members will now receive five courtesy entries every year. For additional entries, members will pay $40 (early bird fee); $75 (standard fee); or $125 (final deadline fee) per additional entry.

Registered media companies will pay a fee of $65 (early bird fee); $95 (standard fee); or $125 (final deadline fee) per entry.

Considerations will be made for artists/members experiencing financial hardships, according to the statement. Any member who would be burdened by the entry fees can request the fees be waived by reaching out to the Recording Academy Awards Department.

Grammy Engineering and Production Award Winners Announced

Eligibility considerations have been tweaked. Going forward, an album must contain greater than 75% playing time of newly recorded (within five years of the release date), previously unreleased recordings. The previous eligibility rule was 50%. This change was approved in 2021 but is only now going into effect for 2023.

The academy notes that the Best Compilation Soundtrack, Best Historical Album, Best Immersive Audio Album, Best Recording Package, Best Special Package and Best Album Notes categories will allow albums of recordings that are not newly recorded.

Further, three categories within the Classical field will now be determined by highly specialized Craft Committees, namely Producer of the Year (Classical), Best Engineered Album (Classical) and Best Contemporary Classical Composition.

The new rules also include amendments to a number of category names and definitions, including changes to the collaborators now recognized in certain fields.