The Grammys have listed five new categories of award which includes Songwriter of the Year, and the Best Song for Social Change.
Unlike the Song of the Year Award, which awards a songwriter or songwriters who wrote the lyrics or melodies to a song, the Songwriter of the Year awards a non-performing and non-producing songwriter for the most prolific body of work in a year.
The aim of the award, Recording Academy CEO, Harvey Mason said is to celebrate the art of songwriting.
“This new category is truly for an expert person at the songwriting craft. Songwriters must have written a minimum of five songs in which they are credited solely as a songwriter or co-writer. Somebody who writes their own music and records it would not be eligible. They would have to be doing songs for others. We want to highlight the craft of writing songs professionally for artists.
“Songwriters are at the heart of our business and industry. Nothing happens without songwriters. For us, this was a no brainer. It’s in alignment with all the changes. We thought, “how can we do more?” “how can we showcase more people and be more inclusive to different genres?”
Other new award categories include Best Spoken Word Poetry Album, Best Alternative Music Performance, Americana Music Performance, and Score Soundtrack for Video Games and other Interactive Media.
On the Special Merit Award for Best Song for Social Change, the award will be based on lyrical content that addresses a timely social issue and promotes ‘understanding’, ‘peacebuilding’ and ‘empathy’.
“It’s always the right time to recognize music that’s changing the world. I think it deserves a special recognition. These songs are important and impactful. We want to make sure we’re honouring and celebrating that artform. This is a great way to do that,” said Mason.
The new awards Mason said are the result of a year-long process of accepting proposals to make changes, additions and updates from music creators and professionals that make-up the membership body.