Grammys are considering a new category for Afrobeats

The Grammys are considering adding an Afrobeats category, according to one source with knowledge of the discussions behind closed doors. While the category is most commonly associated with Nigerian music, many other African countries have their own styles beyond Afrobeats, which are also eligible for consideration.

For example, Nigeria’s Afropop, which includes songs by artists like Fela Kuti, Amaka, and Youssou N’Dour, is also eligible. Ethiopian artists such as Meseret Yohannes, Seyoum and Djelal are also in the mix.

The move would also reflect the influence of Afrobeats in pop music beyond the U.S., where the category debuted in 2002. The Grammy ballot, which includes a category for each year’s nominees, also includes the Afrobeats category. Afrobeats, including its original country of Nigeria and the West African diaspora, is believed to have a strong presence in American pop music, with artists like Meseret Yohannes, Fela Kuti and Youssou N’Dour having been nominated multiple times for the category.

“We’re looking at the Afrobeats category as part of what could be a significant change,” said an industry insider.

It is unclear whether the category will include any other forms of music besides Afrobeats. In addition to Nigeria, the countries of Senegal, Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Sudan, Guinea, Cote D’Ivoire, Gabon and Mali are also eligible for consideration.

“The Grammy folks are definitely discussing other categories that are relevant to this year’s nominees. I wouldn’t be surprised if they considered a new category for Afrobeats,” said the Grammy insider. “The issue of course is that they need to get a consensus from the group of people it will include.”

A Grammy official didn’t respond to a request requesting more information about their reasoning, and instead referred HuffPost to the Grammys’ FAQ page.

While Afrobeats has been recognized by the category three times, only one album has been nominated for the category: the duo’s 1997 debut, AfroPunk, which was nominated for Record of the Year and Best Traditional R&B Performance. The category also had a strong presence in the early 2000s, with several albums having been recognized. That included the aforementioned 2002 nominees, as well as

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