Rule changes (including 5 new categories) – Notice Board
The Recording Academy has added five new categories for the 2023 Grammy Awards, the biggest one-year increase in 28 years. The Academy adds a category for Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical, which is analogous to the award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, which it introduced in 1974.
The Grammys are also adding a new category, Best Song for Social Change. Submissions must contain lyrical content that addresses a timely social issue and promotes understanding, peacebuilding, and empathy. But that’s not part of the usual Grammy Awards structure. It is a special merit award, similar to the Music Educator Award, Lifetime Achievement Awards, Trustee Awards, and Technical Grammy Awards. The winner will be determined by a “blue ribbon committee” and ratified by the Recording Academy Board of Trustees.
These rule changes were voted on and adopted at The Recording Academy’s biannual board meeting last month. They were announced Thursday, June 9.
In another significant change, The Recording Academy limits the number of submissions each member can make to five. Previously there were no limits. For each additional entry beyond five, there will be a charge. But the Academy notes that “considerations will be made for artists/members experiencing financial difficulties.” This waiver offer is similar to how the Academy has offered to waive the usual $100 annual dues renewal fee in each of the past two years to struggling members.
The five new competitive categories (not including Best Song for Social Change, which is not a competitive category) bring the Grammys total to 91, the highest since 2010, when there were 109 categories. It was the last year before the Grammys went on an emergency diet and dropped to 78 categories. As most emergency dieters have learned, the numbers on the scale tend to go up.
But the CEO of the Recording Academy, Harvey Mason jr, is not concerned. “I think we’re thoughtful and strategic about how we add categories,” he said. Billboard Wednesday. “We do it in a way that makes sure we represent the music and that’s ultimately our goal. I don’t care if it’s 50 categories or 150 categories. The number is not important. What is important to me and to us and our board [of trustees] is that we recognize music in such a way that music is made.
Here are 14 rule changes for the 2023 Grammy Awards, starting with the five new categories.