Grammy Awards: songwriters will have their own prize

The Grammy Awards announced several new awards, including Songwriter of the Year.

For the first time in its six-decade history, the Grammy Awards are adding an award to specifically honor the music industry’s most prolific songwriters.

As part of a series of rule updates and changes announced Thursday morning by the Recording Academy, the new award, “Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical”, will be the most direct award songwriters have ever received at the Grammys. Intended to celebrate only the songwriter and the songs he wrote and not performed, the nominations will include five songs that the songwriter did not record himself.

My background is that of a songwriter and a creator, so it just made a lot of sense to honor someone as Songwriter of the Year, the same way we honor a producer, best crafted album, that kind of stuff,” explains Harvey Mason Jr, CEO of the Recording Academy, to RollingStone. While Mason won’t vote on the proposals, he says he strongly supported the decision to pass this new award category. “ What’s important is that the songwriting community felt they wanted to be heard, and the Academy wholeheartedly agreed and are excited about this award. »

Non-performing songwriters play a crucial role in the industry: there wouldn’t be any hits if no one wrote them. Yet they are often overlooked, both in and out of the industry. Compensation for songwriters is often very low, and it’s common for great artists to take songwriting credit on a track even if they didn’t write it, cutting into the songwriter’s income. composer. In recent years, bands like the pact tried to solve this long-standing problem. A Grammy isn’t the answer, but it does at least give the songwriting class some much-needed respect, giving them more visible awards for their work that artists and producers have been receiving for decades already. .

I think the industry is moving in that direction, starting to recognize the importance and value of what songwriters do.says Mason. I think making sure we’re recognizing them properly, making sure they’re getting credit or being compensated properly, all of those things are going in the right direction. And I hope that through the Academy, we can help make things happen. »

Beyond the new songwriter award, the Academy announced several other changes on Thursday, including four other new award categories: Best Alternative Musical Performance, Best Americana Musical Performance, Best Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media , and Best Spoken Poetry Album. The Academy has also launched a new special merit award called “Best Song for Social Change,” which will recognize a song whose lyrics address social issues. As announced last year, beginning with the 65th Annual Grammy Awards, eligible albums must now feature 75% new material, instead of the previously required 50%.

The Academy has also limited the number of submissions Academy members can make, presumably to discourage contestants from submitting their songs to too many Grammy categories.

Ethan Millman

Translated by the editor

Grammy Awards: songwriters will have their own prize