A new Special Merit Award will be presented to an individual or group at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards next year.
According to the National Academy of Recording and Sciences, the members decided to overhaul the presentation of the music industry gala by adding a “Best Song for Social Change” category to 91 already established genres.
Scheduled for an official announcement on Nov. 15, the decision will feature worthy finalists to compete for the first annual award, which recognizes lyrics that “celebrate a song that addresses a pressing social issue and promotes understanding, peacebuilding, and empathy”.
In other words, the selection must provide thematic support for a current social cause.
The addition is among several notable changes to the list of record industry enhancements slated for a big reveal next week when the 2022 finalists are announced.
In addition to an award for socially conscientious recording, the Academy has approved five new categories for recognition of previously unannounced creators.
Going forward, the competitive competition will include – Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical; Best Alternative Music Performance; Best American Performance; Best soundtrack for video games and other interactive media; and Best Spoken Poetry Album.
“We are thrilled to celebrate all of this year’s Grammy nominees who have contributed to such a prolific year in music,” said Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of The Recording Academy.
“With the addition of five new categories and a diverse new class of voting members, we look forward to honoring all of this incredible music and the people who created it.”
Apparently a week ago, Mason approached the Jamaican musical fraternity who relentlessly pleaded and demanded an addition to the singular best reggae album granted to them.
“If the Dancehall community wanted their own category, and they were so convinced of it,” they would have to submit a proposal and with the right reasons, justification and signatories required, it could be done.
But in reality, it’s easier said than done.
Members of the Jamaica Music Federation advocated for a second category to no avail.
Perhaps the most persuasive action might be to increase membership in the Academy by becoming paying voters.
Jamaican Dancehall artists have included Shaggy, Sean Paul, Shabba Ranks, Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Koffee, – all of whom won in the Best Reggae Album category.
Some feel they are unfairly ranked in deprivation of mainstream reggae recorders who are forced to compete in the genre alone.
Recently Sharon Burke, a powerhouse on the island, said, “Let’s push for Dancehall to have its own category.
The president of Solid Agency offered to flood the Academy with requests.
Others argue that the releases’ poor content hampered opportunities to increase the quota.
The predicted list of contenders for next year’s Golden Gramophones are considered the top contributors to the 2022 Catalog of Global Sounds and the winners will be recognized Feb. 5 in Los Angeles, Calif., at a televised presentation ceremony.
Renowned as the gold standard for celebrating artistic excellence and also defining the year in music, the Grammy Awards are considered “the only peer-recognized musical honor featuring a body of music creators representing all genres and creative disciplines”.
It’s their voting process that determines the nominees and winners on a date often called music’s biggest night.
The 65th Annual Grammy Awards gala presentation will return to the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California in 2023.
Catch yourself inside!