Grammys Adds Major Categories, Plan to Recognize Prolific Songwriters

by Shelby Scott

For decades, some of TV‘s most popular award shows have maintained an unchanging format. Year after year, we see the same categories presented again and again. However, music, film, and TV have gradually evolved and, as such, provided creative individuals with greater avenues for success. The Grammy Awards, which recognize some of the most talented individuals in music, will grow its categorical nominations this year substantially. When the 2022 awards air, the Grammys will feature the Songwriter of the Year and several other new categories.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the addition of Songwriter of the Year allows the Recording Academy to recognize the current year’s greatest non-classical music composer. More specifically, the Songwriter of the Year Award will go to a single individual who was the “most prolific” non-performing and non-producing songwriter for a body of new work.

The outlet also noted the difference between Song of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. Song of the Year awards a writer or writers for their work on a single piece. In comparison, Songwriter of the Year will recognize a single writer for the year’s entire body of work.

The Academy’s CEO Harvey Mason Jr. spoke about the importance of the Grammys’ newest award category.

“Songwriters are at the heart of our business and industry,” Mason said. “Nothing happens without songwriters.”

He further said the categorical growth this year is “in alignment with all the changes.”

Essentially, the Recording Academy aimed to showcase more people and encompass more diverse genres by adding Songwriter of the Year.

What Are the Grammys’ Other New Categories?

Songwriter of the Year is likely the most significant addition to the 2022 Grammy Awards. However, it’s hardly the only new addition.

As per the outlet, the Academy also incorporated four other new and diverse awards, which we can look forward to hearing more about in the time ahead of the show.

In addition to Songwriter of the Year, the Grammys will also feature the best spoken word poetry album, best alternative music performance, best Americana music performance, and best score soundtrack for videogames and other interactive media.

That’s not where the recognition ends, however. On top of five new categories, the 2022 Grammys will also see the addition of a special song for social change award. Essentially, the coveted award highlights a meaningful song based on lyrical content and addresses a current social problem, and helps to promote “understanding, peacebuilding, and empathy.”

Of the new award, Mason said, “It’s always the right time to recognize music that’s changing the world.”

He continued, “I think it deserves a special recognition. These songs are important and impactful. We want to make sure we’re honoring and celebrating that artform. This is a great way to do that.”