HITS Daily Double


Songwriter of the Year has been added to the Grammy Awards. It's the sexiest of an assortment of new categories and rule changes announced by the Recording Academy on the morning of 6/9. The Academy is also adding a Special Merit Award—Best Song for Social Change.

The Academy’s updated album-eligibility rule, approved in 2021, will take effect this year. To be eligible for Grammy Award consideration, an album must contain more than 75% playing time of newly recorded (within five years of the release date), previously unreleased recordings. The previous eligibility figure was 50%.

Grammy chief Harvey Mason Jr. had a quote for the occasion: “We’re so excited to honor these diverse communities of music creators through the newly established awards and amendments and to continue cultivating an environment that inspires change, progress and collaboration. The Academy’s top priority is to effectively represent the music people that we serve, and each year that entails listening to our members and ensuring our rules and guidelines reflect our ever-evolving industry.”


Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical: Recognizes the written excellence, profession and art of songwriting, honoring the most prolific non-performing and non-producing songwriters for their body of new work released during an eligibility year

Best Alternative Music Performance: A track and single category that recognizes the best recordings in an alternative performance by a solo artist, collaborating artists, established duo or established group

Best Americana Performance: A track and single category that recognizes artistic excellence in an Americana performance by a solo artist, collaborating artists, established duo or established group

Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media: Recognizes excellence in score soundtrack albums comprised predominately of original scores and created specifically for, or as a companion to, a current video game or other interactive media released within the qualification period

Best Spoken Word Poetry Album: An album category that recognizes excellence in spoken-word albums specific to the performance of poetry with or without music


Best Song for Social Change: This award will be determined by a blue-ribbon committee and ratified by the Academy’s Board of Trustees. Submissions must contain lyrical content that addresses a timely social issue and promotes understanding, “peace-building” and empathy.


Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media: Some language in the criteria for this category (including film, TV, video games and other visual media) that had been removed has now been restored to recognize principal artists and in-studio producers.

Best Remixed Recording: The newly amended definition helps to reflect the remix craft as it currently stands in the industry: the creation of a new, full-track, unique performance created by a remixer from a previously released recording.

New Age, Ambient or Chant Field: The category formerly known as Best New Age Album has been renamed Best New Age, Ambient or Chant Album and the field name has also been updated to reflect that change.

Best Musical Theater Album: The category definition has been updated to award composers and lyricists of more than 50% of the score of a new recording.

Spoken Word Field: The category formally known as Spoken Word Album has been renamed Best Audio Book, Narration & Storytelling Recording. This category recognizes excellence in spoken-word albums (not including Spoken Word Poetry).

Classical Field: Three categories will now be determined by Craft Committees: Producer of the Year (Classical), Best Engineered Album (Classical) and Best Contemporary Classical Composition.


Fees for entry submissions: All Recording Academy members will receive five courtesy entries every year. For additional entries, members will pay $40 (early bird fee), $75 (standard fee) or $125 (final deadline fee) per additional entry. Registered media companies will pay a fee of $65 (early bird fee), $95 (standard fee) or $125 (final deadline fee) per entry.

Study this information closely; you may be required to submit to a pop quiz at any time.