The Grammys has announced that they will make sweeping changes to its rules and procedures by renaming several categories of its musical awards.
“Best Urban Contemporary Album has been renamed Best Progressive R&B Album to appropriately categorize and describe this subgenre. This change includes a more accurate definition to describe the merit or characteristics of music compositions or performances themselves within the genre of R&B,” says the press release.
According to Pitchfork, the category that was formerly known as “Latin Rock, Urban Or Alternatives Album” has had the urban distinction removed from the title, but the category known as “Latin Pop” has been renamed “Latin Pop and Urban.” There’s been a disclaimer that the “Latin Pop and Urban” category could be further amended going forward.
The announcement doesn’t address the recent criticism the Grammys have faced for urban typically being a reference to Black music. Just a few days ago, Republic Records decided against using the term in reference to Black music, citing the generalization of Black people in the different sectors of the music industry.
“We’re constantly evaluating our Awards process and evolving it to ensure the Grammy Awards are inclusive and reflect the current state of the music industry,” Harvey Mason Jr., Interim President remarked on the sudden change. “Each year, we receive a number of rule change proposals from artists, producers and songwriters asking us to reevaluate our process,” Chief Awards Officer Bill Freimuth added, pointing out that they pay close attention to occurrences within the past 12 months.
The Grammys Recording Academy has been in turmoil since they fired their former president and CEO Deborah Dugan. Back in January Dugan filed a discrimination complaint that alleged that Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich tried to make attempts to use his position to influence nomination votes in some of the key categories such as Record, Album, and Song of the Year.
You can peep all of the Grammys’ rules here.