The Recording Academy has continued its push to modernize the Grammy Awards with the addition of several new categories for 2023. When the ceremonies return to Los Angeles on January 31st, the Academy will present new awards for songwriters, Alternative and Americana performances, and more.
The 2023 ceremony will feature the newly added Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical award for non-performing and non-producing writers for their body of work released during the eligibility year. Best Performance awards will also be presented for Alternative and Americana musicians, in addition to a new category for Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games And Other Interactive Media. Lastly, the Recording Academy has added a new award for Best Spoken Word Poetry Album, “specific to the performance of poetry with or without music.”
The Grammys have also added a special merit award for Best Song For Social Change for songs that “contain lyrical content that addresses a timely social issue and promotes understanding, peacebuilding and empathy.” Rather than being decided by the Recording Academy’s voting body—which last year saw the addition of thousands of younger and more diverse members—this award will be decided by a Blue Ribbon Committee and ratified by the Recording Academy Board of Trustees.
In addition to introducing these new awards, the Recording Academy has amended the language for a number of existing categories. Best New Age Album has been renamed Best New Age, Ambient Or Chant Album and the category formerly known as Spoken Word Album has been renamed Best Audio Book, Narration & Storytelling Recording. New recognition will also be given to composers and librettists in Best Opera Recording and Best Classical Compendium Categories, and the definition of the Best Remixed category has been updated to more accurately reflect the craft: “the creation of a new, full-track, unique performance created by a remixer from a previously released recording.” View the full list of new Grammy Awards and updated definitions for 2023 below.
This news comes as the Recording Academy continues a years-long ratings slump with the 2022 Grammy Awards bringing in nearly 9 million views, barely edging out 2021’s all-time low initial viewership of 8.8 million. Compared with ratings of the past five years when the ceremonies brought in 26 million viewers in 2017 and 18.7 million in 2020, it appears the Recording Academy is doing everything it can to attract new viewership. Here’s hoping the governing body instills a new Silk Sonic category to keep the show-stealing duo coming back to win more awards.
NEW GRAMMY AWARDS CATEGORIES ADDED:
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 predominantly 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.
SPECIAL MERIT AWARD ADDITION:
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.
ADDITIONAL CATEGORY AMENDMENTS:
Classical Field: Creation of Craft Committees in Select Classical Categories
Three Categories within the Classical Field will now be determined by highly specialized Craft Committees: Producer Of The Year (Classical), Best Engineered Album (Classical) and Best Contemporary Classical Composition.
Classical Field: Recognition of Composers and Librettists in Best Opera Recording and Best Classical Compendium Categories
Category definitions have been updated to award composers and librettists in addition to artists, producers and engineers.
New Age, Ambient Or Chant Field: Renamed And Redefined Field and Category Name
The Category formerly known as “Best New Age Album” has been renamed “Best New Age, Ambient Or Chant Album” and the Field name has also been updated to reflect that change.
Musical Theater Field: Recognition of Composers and Lyricists in Best Musical Theater Album Category
Category definition has been updated to award composers and lyricists of more than 50 percent of the score of a new recording.
Music For Visual Media Field (Includes Film, TV, Video Games, And Other Visual Media): Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media
Some language in the criteria for this Category which had been removed has now been restored to recognize principal artists and in-studio producers.
Production Field: Updated Definition of Best Remixed Recording Category
The newly amended definition of the Best Remixed Recording Category helps to reflect the remix craft as it currently stands in the industry: the creation of a new, full-track, unique performance created by a remixer from a previously released recording.
Spoken Word Field: Updated Category Name and Definition
The Category formally known as Spoken Word Album has been renamed Best Audio Book, Narration & Storytelling Recording. This Category recognizes excellence in spoken word albums (not including Spoken Word Poetry).