Have The Grammys Ever Considered A Dancehall Category?

Shabba Ranks To Be Crowned 'King Of Dancehall' At Reggae Sumfest –  DancehallMagDancehall music stands as a very distinct and popular form of Jamaican music that started in the 1970s.

Since its creation, dancehall has completely taken on an identity of its own with unabashed lyrical expressions, style, community, and culture. Its impact on other popular globally respected genres, continues to grow as music diversifies and expand.

With these facts, some music insiders and practitioners of the genre, believe that it’s time for the GRAMMY’s to officially include dancehall music as a single category, giving the craft the identity it deserves.

Popular Irish television producer, Mark Kenny of Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall, recently agreed that dancehall should indeed be added as a category. “Yes, it should be added, dancehall is such an influential genre.”

Shabba Ranks mourns his mother, 'Mama Christie' - Caribbean LifeIconic reggae-dancehall star Eek-A-Mouse shares the sentiment. “Yes, the GRAMMYs not should, but must add a dancehall category. He who comes from nowhere, makes himself exist. The rock category came from nowhere, that’s how it is, a replication of the process in a child-like spirit. Dancehall should be, a must in the GRAMMY category. They’ve been keeping down dancehall all the time.” He said.

Beenie Man fires shot at Mavado on Instagram with his Grammy in hand -  YouTubeSixty-three years ago, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences first presented the GRAMMY awards, known back then as the Gramophone Awards. At that time, there were only twenty-eight categories.

Since then, the Recording Academy gave several variances in their categories, some have been made redundant, and new ones are being introduced as music’s creative influences broadens and evolve. To date, the categories total eighty-four and awards are presented to several popular genres including Rap which made its way thirty years after the first award showcase, Rock came in twenty years later, Pop, Country, and R&B.

Other genres awarded at the GRAMMY’s are Children’s, Spoken Word, Gospel (Contemporary Christian), New Age, Classical, Jazz, Composing, Latin, Dance (Electronic), World Music, Comedy, Contemporary Instrumental, Alternative, Musical Theatre, American Roots, and Reggae.

It was twenty-six years after the first Gramophone awards that reggae music was added as a category. Though the genre’s win has never been televised, the inclusion of the brand has given practitioners the global opportunity to shine and succeed in other markets.

Shaggy - Grammys 2019 - Full Backstage Interview - YouTubeWhen Black Uhuru made history in 1985 as the first Jamaicans to win a GRAMMY award, the already very appealing art form’s impact catapulted the culture beyond borders imaginable at that time. The complete set of nominees in that year for Best Reggae Recording were Jimmy Cliff’s Reggae Nights, Black Uhuru’s Anthem, Steel Pulse’s Steppin’ Out, Peter Tosh’s Captured Live, and Yellowman’s King Yellowman.

Dancehall Stars who have won the prestigious award in the reggae category are; Shabba Ranks in 1992 and 1993 for his albums As Raw As Ever and Xtra Naked, Shaggy in 1996 with Boombastic, Beenie Man in 2002 with his album Art and Life, Sean Paul in 2004 with Dutty Rock, Damian Marley in 2002 with Half Way Tree, and again in 2006 with Welcome to Jamrock.

Sean Paul on Twitter: "RRR!!! 14 YEARS FI #DUTTYROCK GRAMMY AWARD!!! NUFF  LUV BIG UP ALL DI NOMINEES DIS YEAR!!! #GRAMMYs RRR!!!… "With consideration to the lyrical content of reggae music and the disconnect between dancehall, the latter’s own category will not only propel it as its own brand internationally but also help to note the importance of the contrast.

In January 2021, GRAMMY.com launched its new ‘Genre Pages’ to expand music and artist discoveries. Music lovers can look forward to reading about and exploring the genres celebrated each year at the GRAMMY awards and learn about new music being created each day by the talented artists, engineers, writers, composers and producers who make music possible.

According to grammy.com, “As music continues to progress and fans expand the ways they consume music and culture, GRAMMY.com remains your go-to destination for new music discovery, Recording Academy and industry updates and engaging, music-first content.”

Source: Should the GRAMMY Awards Include A Dancehall Category? – Caribbean News

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