New Grammy Award Categories for 2023 Include Songwriter of the Year

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

The Recording Academy revealed five new Grammy Awards categories, including Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical; Best Alternative Music Performance; Best Americana Performance; Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media; and Best Spoken Word Poetry Album. All new categories go into effect for the 65th Annual Grammy Awards in 2023.

In addition to the new music categories, the academy has also added a new Special Merit Award for Best Song for Social Change.

These five new categories bring the Grammys total to 91, which is the highest its been since 2010 when there were 109 categories. In 2022, the Grammys dropped down to 78 categories.

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

The 2022 Grammy Awards also included two new awards: Best Global Music Performance and Best Música Urbana Album, which were won by Arooj Aftab and Bad Bunny, respectively. In 2021, the first Best Global Music Album Award was given to Burna Boy.

The new Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical award will recognize songwriters who do a significant amount of writing for other artists.

“This category recognizes the written excellence, profession, and art of songwriting for non-performing and non-producing songwriters,” said the Academy. “This category is for songwriters whose body of work released for the first time during the current eligibility year represents artistic excellence in the area of songwriting.”

2022 Grammy Award (Photo: The Recording Academy)

Descriptions of the new 2023 Grammy Award categories are below:

Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical

Recognizes 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.

Best Alternative Music Performance

A track and single Category that recognizes the best recordings in an alternative performance by a solo artist, collaborating artists, established duo, or established group.

Best Americana Performance

A track and single Category that recognizes artistic excellence in an Americana performance by a solo artist, collaborating artists, established duo, or established group.

Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media

Recognizes excellence in score soundtrack albums comprised predominately of original scores and created specifically for, or as a companion to, a current video game or other interactive media released within the qualification period.

Best Spoken Word Poetry Album

An album Category that recognizes excellence in spoken word albums specific to the performance of poetry with or without music.

Best Song for Social Change

This Special Merit Award will be determined 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, peacebuilding, and empathy. 

Photo: Don Emmert

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