The Grammys are considering adding an Afrobeats category, according to The New York Times, which also notes that in the past year, the Grammys have added a category for Latino Latin music to recognize the Latino artists who dominate Latin music and whose voices have been ignored. The Afrobeats category, if it’s instituted, would likely be the second Grammy-winning group category, after Latin pop.
An Afrobeats category could be a way for the Grammys to address the issues of racism in the acceptance of African Americans. The category wouldn’t be an official Grammy category, as it would be created by voters who are not in a voting position. To create the Afrobeats category, voters would be asked to nominate two artists, and the category would open up to both new and returning participants.
The New York Times notes that in 2014, the Grammys added a Latin pop category to recognize Latino artists who dominate Latin music.
What Would the Afrobeats category Entail?
Since 2010, the Grammys have added a category for Latino Latin music (which was called Latin pop). Now, the Grammy Awards themselves might be considering adding an Afrobeats category, but it seems logical that the Grammys would be seeking an Afrobeats category on its own rather than have an Afrobeats category added and then forced onto the Grammys as a kind of forced inclusion like the Latino pop category was.
This is more in line with how the Grammy Awards has handled the inclusion of Latin music:
The Grammy Awards recognize Latin music in the form of two new categories: Latin pop and Latin rock.
The two new categories are meant to acknowledge some of the most prominent and recognizable Latin music acts, although the categories don’t cover as much ground as they might, as one person explained in a post for NPR Music:
So here’s the deal: It’s a little weird, but that’s the best way to explain it.
In a few instances in the past year, the Latin pop category has been used to recognize a genre of music outside of Latin music, like, say, klezmer, and one of the nominees in that year’s Latin pop category was the indie-pop band múm.