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Recording Academy Makes Grammy Changes

The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences has made changes in voting categories for next year’s 46th annual Grammy Awards, including the establishment of a best rap song Grammy.

The best rap song award-the sixth in the rap field, which was established in 1988-mirrors the long-running awards for country and R&B songs.

“The rap arena continues to be strong and growing,” NARAS president Neil Portnow says. “There are more releases, more artists, more airplay and sales, and more importantly, there’s more creativity in that area.”

In addition, awards in the world music field have been doubled: Trophies will now go to best traditional world music album and best contemporary world music album.

NARAS senior VP of awards Diane Theriot says, “This has continued to be an extremely strong, healthy category, and over the years it has grown. The world committee felt there were sufficient entries” for two awards.

The best comedy recording category, formerly housed in the spoken-word field, will now have its own field, open to both spoken and musical comedy works.

Finally, the production field has been split into classical and non-classical fields.

Portnow says the moves are “the result of official proposals that come from members of the organization.”

Those suggestions are voted on by the 25-member awards committee; NARAS’ 36 trustees then make final decisions about the establishment of new categories or changes in existing ones.

NARAS also announced the election of new national officers: Daniel Carlin, VP of film/music at Zomba Group, as chairman; jazz vocalist Kurt Elling as vice chairman; and Wayne Halper, GM and head of label operations at DreamWorks Records Nashville, as secretary/treasurer.

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