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Rosalia at Record Academy's 62nd Annual Grammy Awards

The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards make changes to Latin music categories

One of the most highly anticipated awards nights in America is seeing some big changes in their traditionally Black and Latinx artist categories.

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How do you handle a Latin crossover? Well, on June 10, The Recording Academy announced nine new changes to their nomination and awards process for the Grammys.

The changes to the music categories are effective immediately are as follows:

  • Best Urban Contemporary will be Best Progressive R&B Album
  • Best Rap/Sung Performance is now Best Melodic Rap Performance
  • Latin Pop album has been renamed to Best Latin Pop or Urban Album
  • Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album is now Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album

In the Grammy Awards press release, they said it is to reflect their “ongoing commitment to evolve with the musical landscape and to ensure the GRAMMY Awards nominating process and rules are more transparent and fair.”

So what is the point of these name changes? Do they offer any significance to a big music event? Well, some may agree and others don’t. 

The name change for the urban contemporary album has always been criticized and is being changed so it can “highlight albums include the more progressive elements of R&B and may include samples and elements of hip-hop, rap, dance, and electronic music.” 

The Best Rap/Sung Performance is renamed to recognize solo and collaborative performances. 

The Grammy’s announcement came at the same time Remezcla announced they would no longer be using urbano or musica urbana because of the connotation it portrayed of exclusion and segregation. 

An article by NPR also touches upon the underlying racism has always existed around the Recording Academy and the Grammy’s —About their inclusion, exclusion, and the turmoil that has existed over the last couple of years. The last awards show, especially, had many artists outraged. 

“Truth be told, hip-hop has never been respected by the Grammys. Black music has never been respected by the Grammys,” said Diddy.

In an interview with Billboard revolving around the new changes, Don Omar, Guayna, J Balvin and Bryan Meyers all had different feelings about the new categories. 

While they realized the change from ‘urban’ was inevitable, they all thought that some of the awards should be separated because they represent a different type of music.

Without much explanation as to their rewording of the award genres during a time where everyone is doing their part in inclusion after being called out for their lack thereof, it seems like they felt if they did not they would too come under fire at some point.

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