The Grammys are considering adding an Afrobeats category to celebrate the growing number of South African musicians who are able to travel to New York City to take part in the annual celebration that launched the careers of artists like Beyonce, Rihanna, and Bruno Mars.
Afrobeats, or African Music, is a collection of genres that span various African styles from the West Coast to the South. The African Music category would include performances from a number of different styles across Africa and would include contributions performed by African musicians, including vocalists, drummers, and rappers from across the African continent. The list of nominees will be narrowed down to six, with categories including: Best Traditional R&B, Best World, Best International Gospel, Best Children’s Song, Best Instrumental, Best Dance, and Most Outstanding Song.
The nominations for this category are slated to be announced on January 2, with all six nominees scheduled to be announced on January 3. The Grammy Awards will air February 10.
The decision was made by the Recording Academy after consultations with its African-American Council, the organization’s board of directors and producers, industry leaders and community leaders.
“The Grammy Awards are an extraordinary opportunity for the international community to celebrate the music of so many artists whose contributions are felt all over the world,” said Pharrell Williams. “The Grammy committee has been mindful of the importance of including diverse perspectives and artists across the African diaspora in their awards. We look forward to hearing the new nominees and celebrating the world of Afrobeats with the community.”
On Sunday, January 30 in New York City, there will be several other musical events that celebrate African-American contributions to music. Notable are the Afrodiasporic Music Awards, given in association with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Black Women in Music Awards.
In the meantime, the Grammys will have a “featured artists” lineup in which the Grammy Awards will have five musical performances showcasing African-American music and performance. This lineup includes;
Jamelia Jones: The artist’s third album, “We Love You More,” was named the best Gospel album of 2017 by Pazz & Jop. Her second album, “Jamelia Jones,” was also nominated for the Grammy