Big changes are in store for next year’s Grammy awards.
The new categories will be Songwriter of the Year (non-classical), Best Alternative Music Performance, Best Americana Musical Performance, Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media, Best Spoken Word Poetry Album and a special merit award for Best Song for Social Change.
Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said the special merit award would help to boost diversity and “continue cultivating an environment that inspires change, progress and collaboration.”
The Songwriter of the Year award will highlight “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,” according to the Academy.
These changes bring the total number of categories for the annual award show to 91.
The Academy Trustees will present the merit award to “creators of message-driven music that responds to the social issues of our time and has the potential for positive global impact.”
To add diversity the organization, in 2021, the Recording Academy extended invitations to 2,700 musical artists in different demographics, including 48 percent female, 32 percent Black, 13 percent Hispanic or Latino and four percent Asian or Pacific Islander. Eighty-three percent of creators invited accepted.
Other changes for 2023 pertain to album eligibility. Albums will now require over 75 percent of newly recorded or previously unreleased recordings, an increase from 50 percent. In this case, “new” would mean within five years of the release date.
This year’s Grammys aired on Sunday, April 3, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas instead of January in Los Angeles after COVID-19 forced the show to be pushed back. Next year, the ceremony will return to the California location.