September 28, 2023

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Recording Academy Expands Grammys’ General Field Categories

3 min read

The Recording Academy is expanding the general field for the 66th Grammy Awards and beyond.

Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical, and Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical, have been added to the general field, which includes Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Record Of The Year, and Best New Artist.

This marks the first general field update since the Best New Artist category was added in 1959 during the second annual ceremony.

The decision was made during the Recording Academy’s semiannual Board of Trustees meeting held in May. They established three new categories at that meeting: Best African Music Performance, Best Pop Dancing Recording, and Best Alternative Jazz Album

Having Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical and Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical will allow “all Grammy voters to vote in these important, non-genre specific categories,” said the Recording Academy.

Previously, the Recording Academy’s 10-3 rule restricted voting members to only voting in ten categories across three fields and all general field categories. However, this rule has been updated to include Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical and Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical in the general field, allowing voters more flexibility in their voting choices without using one of their 10-3 fields.

These two awards are considered part of the “craft category” separated into two fields: Production and Presentation. Craft Category nominations are determined by national, regional, or chapter craft committees, per the established rules and guidelines.

Similarly, the songwriter’s award undergoes a vetting process by regional Songwriter Of The Year Nominating Committees. Five nominees remain chosen for each award.

Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, said, “The Recording Academy is proud to announce these latest Category changes to our Awards process. These changes reflect our commitment to actively listen and respond to the feedback from our music community, accurately represent a diverse range of relevant musical genres, and stay aligned with the ever-evolving musical landscape.”

He continued, “By introducing these three new Categories, we are able to acknowledge and appreciate a broader array of artists – and relocating the Producer Of The Year and Songwriter Of The Year Categories to the General Field ensures that all our voters can participate in recognizing excellence in these fields. We are excited to honor and celebrate the creators and recordings in these Categories, while also exposing a wider range of music to fans worldwide.”

Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical was first introduced in 1975 at the the 17th Annual Grammy Awards. The award “recognizes excellence in production of non-classical audio recordings” and it’s “for a producer whose body of work released for the first time during the eligibility year represents consistently outstanding creativity in the area of recording production.”

The Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical award was decided upon last year and introduced at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards, held earlier this year.

The category acknowledges “the written excellence, profession and art of songwriting for non-performing and non-producing songwriters.” It targets “songwriters whose body of work released for the first time during the current eligibility year represents artistic excellence in the area of songwriting.”

The-Dream (Beyoncé, Brent Faiyaz, Pusha T) and Nija Charles (Kehlani, Summer Walker, Usher) were part of the first class of Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical nominees. The award ultimately went to Tobias Jessor Jr. 

The date for the 66th Annual Grammy Awards telecast in 2024 has not been announced yet. However, the eligibility period for the awards ceremony has been extended by two weeks.

Entries are now eligible if they were released between Oct. 1, 2022, and Sept. 15, 2023, instead of the previous deadline of Aug. 31.

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