The Recording Academy has swapped out their Grammys Urban Contemporary music category for a new name — Progressive R&B. The Academy announced the change on Wednesday (June 10) and revealed that the new title will go into immediate effect for next year’s 63rd Annual Grammy Awards.
“I’m excited to announce our latest changes, as we’re constantly evaluating our Awards process and evolving it to ensure the Grammy Awards are inclusive and reflect the current state of the music industry,” Recording Academy interim President / CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said in a press statement. “The Academy accepts proposals for rule changes from members of the music community throughout the year that are carefully reviewed and, if accepted, ultimately ratified at our annual Board meeting, a process that we are proud to have continued in this challenging year.”
Other changes include the Best Rap/Sung Performance category being renamed to the Best Melodic Rap Performance and new eligibility requirements for the Best New Artist category, which will remove a specified maximum number of releases. Additionally, the Academy made reclassifications in two Latin music categories.
During his acceptance speech for best Rap Album at this year’s 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, Tyler, the Creator explained how the Academy’s use of the word “urban” and certain category classifications is harmful.
“On one side, I’m very grateful that what I made could be acknowledged in a world like this, but also, it sucks that whenever we — and I mean guys that look like me — do anything that’s genre-bending or that’s anything, they always put it in a rap or urban category,” he said. “I don’t like that ‘urban’ word. That’s just a politically correct way to say the n-word, to me.”
Earlier this month, Republic Records also announced that it would no longer use the word “urban” to classify its artists’ music and urged other recordings labels to do the same.