Grammy Awards Add Categories for Songwriters, Video-Game Soundtracks and Poetry

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The 2023 Grammy Awards will feature five new competitive categories, including those that will recognize the contributions of songwriters, music in video-game soundtracks and spoken-word poetry albums.

The Recording Academy on Wednesday unveiled its annual tweaks to the next year’s Grammy Awards ceremony, which is now entering its 65th year. The five new categories are: 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 Grammys also added a category for Best Song for Spoken Change, which is not a competitive award voted on by the membership but is a special merit award that will be given 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, peace building and empathy.

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“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,” Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, said in a statement. “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.”

Among some of the other procedural tweaks to the eligibility requirements for the Grammys, the Academy added new entry fees for submissions beyond the five courtesy entries given to Recording Academy members. And for an album to be eligible for Grammy consideration, albums must now contain 75% of previously unreleased recordings compared to the prior requirement of just 50%. That rule was approved last year but will take effect for 2023.

Finally, there were additional category amendments that renamed the Best New Age Album category, made tweaks to categories in the Classical fields to recognize other craft committees and composers and made a new definition for what qualifies for the Best Remixed Recording Category.

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The full list of rule amendments for the 65th Grammy Awards were voted on and passed at the Recording Academy’s most recent semiannual Board of Trustees meeting held in May.

Jon Batiste won Album of the Year at the 2022 Grammys for his album “We Are,” beating out the likes of Taylor Swift and Kanye West and taking home five Grammys on the night, becoming the first Black artist to win Album of the Year since 2008.

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