Harvey Manson, the CEO of the Recording Academy, says the addition of an Afrobeats category to the Grammys is being considered.

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The music executive spoke on Monday during a chat with journalists at the recently held Global Citizens concert in Ghana.

Manson said the Academy has kicked off processes towards adding an Afrobeats category to the Grammys.

He said members of the Academy will submit a proposal for the category and this will then be voted on.

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“We just had a meeting six or seven days ago with leaders from the Afrobeats community. We want to get word from experts, so we called in producers, songwriters, artistes, and executives,” Manson said.

“We had a virtual listening session where we heard from Afrobeats creators. We talked about the different subgenres, the needs, and the desires.

“My goal is to make sure we represent all genres of music including Afrobeats at the Grammys. I don’t decide on categories. The categories are decided by proposals submitted by members. Then it’s voted on.

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“That process has started now. The listening session last week was very important. It’s a step towards that.”

The Grammy, over the past few years, has been criticised for “not being inclusive enough” of Afrobeats/Afropop, a body of music genres from Africa that is now commanding attention in the global entertainment industry.

Afropop hits have often vied with entries nominated in more generic categories for a slim chance of winning.

In 2021, Wizkid was up in the ‘Best Global Music Performance’ category for ‘Essence’, his collaboration with Tems.

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His ‘Made In Lagos’ and ‘Legacy +’ by Femi and Made Kuti were up in the ‘Best Global Music Album’ category.

But Wizkid lost to Kidjo, the Beninese singer, on the album side, and Pakistan’s Arooj Aftab in the song category.



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