The American music industry's Grammy Awards announced on Tuesday that they will be awarding a gramophone to the best African music performance at their next edition, a further sign of their quest for diversity and a consecration for the genre.
The new award covers a wide range of styles, from Afrobeat and Afro-fusion to Kwassa Kwassa and Ndombolo from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana drill, Afro-House and South African hip-hop, said the Recording Academy, which brings together music industry professionals, in a press release.
The category will reward "recordings that use the unique local expressions of the African continent", the Grammys organisers added.
Long accused of not sufficiently reflecting the diversity and evolution of the music industry, the Grammy Awards have been seeking for years to broaden the range of styles and registers of awards. The category of best soundtrack for a video game was added in 2022.
Musicians from African countries, such as French-Beninese singer Angélique Kidjo (5 wins, 14 nominations) and Nigerian singer Burna Boy (one win, 6 nominations), regularly dominate the Grammy world music categories.
At the 65th edition on 5 February in Los Angeles, a trio led by South African DJ-producer Zakes Bantwini, a pillar of local house music, won thanks to a track in Zulu in the best world music performance category.
The 2024 edition will also honour two other new categories: best alternative jazz album and best dance pop recording. In 2023, 91 awards were presented in as many categories, including pop, rock, classical, hip-hop, gospel and country.