Grammys Add Three Categories, Including Best Urban Contemporary Album

A year after totally revamping nominations, the Recording Academy makes a slight tweak.

Posted: 06/08/2012 10:16 AM EDT
Chris Brown

After last year's controversial decision to slash over 30 categories from the 2012 Grammy Awards, the Recording Academy announced today that it would add three more, including the reinstatement of the Best Latin Jazz Album award.

The two other categories are new and include Best Urban Contemporary Album, honoring R&B albums that include elements of pop and rock, and Best Classical Compendium, which will recognize albums involving a mixture of classical subgenres.

The addition of an award for Best Urban Contemporary Album could reflect the evolving landscape of urban music. As a new generation of R&B artists has increasingly embraced electronic and dance pop music, a divide within the genre has become more pronounced. With the new category, for example, Chris Brown may be nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album, while Tank could get a nod for Best R&B Album.

In the cuts last year that reduced the total number of categories from 109 to 78, R&B as a genre lost four out of eight awards as several were consolidated.

For Best Latin Jazz Album, the Recording Academy's decision to reinstate the category follows an unsuccessful class action lawsuit on its behalf that was filed last year. In a statement to the Associated Press, Academy president Neil Portnow said the new changes reflected an objectively "good musical decision" and were not influenced by politics.

 

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