Grammys adding Songwriter of the Year Award, along with five other new categories

The Grammy Awards will add new categories that include Best Spoken Word Poetry Album and Best Americana Music Performance.

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The Recording Academy announced the Grammy Awards will have new categories, including Songwriter of the Year Award and five other categories.

Songwriter of the Year will be a non-classical category, honoring a non-performing and non-producing individual songwriter who is the “most prolific” throughout the eligibility period, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The potential nominees for the Songwriter of the Year Award would have to have written at least five songs during the eligibility period.

Harvey Mason Jr., the Recording Academy’s CEO, says the new award is meant for those who specifically write songs for other artists. “Somebody who writes their own music and records would not be eligible,” Mason said. “They would have to be doing songs for others. We want to highlight the craft of writing songs professionally for artists.”

Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of The Recording Academy, attends the 63rd annual Grammy Awards on March 14, 2021. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Mason stated that the new songwriting category is intended to celebrate “an expert person at the songwriting craft.”

“Songwriters are at the heart of our business and industry,” Mason continued. “Nothing happens without songwriters. For us, this was a no-brainer. It’s in alignment with all the changes. We thought, ‘How can we do more? Showcase more people and be more inclusive to different genres’?”

64th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Telecast
Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars of Silk Sonic accept Record Of The Year award for ‘Leave The Door Open’ onstage during the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

In addition to Songwriter of the Year, the new categories are Best Alternative Music Performance, Best Spoken Word Poetry Album, Best Americana Music Performance, Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media, as well as a special Merit Award that will honor a song for social change.

“It’s always the right time to recognize music that’s changing the world,” Mason said about the Special Merit Award. “I think it deserves a special recognition. These songs are important and impactful. We want to make sure we’re honoring and celebrating that artform. This is a great way to do that.”

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