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Billboard has suggestions for the Grammys.

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15 Grammy Categories We'd Love to See in 2020

JULY 22, 2019 1:23AM EDT by Paul Grein

The Grammys are often criticized for being out of touch with what’s happening in the music industry, but you can’t say they don’t at least try: For this year’s ceremony, the Recording Academy expanded several categories from five to eight nominees and have taken steps to diversify its membership. The Academy is also constantly tinkering with categories from year to year -- adding new ones or retiring old ones, combining or splitting existing ones, changing both category names and the fine print on eligibility. Still, there’s plenty room for improvement -- and Billboard staffers have a few ideas about how the show can better reflect both modern listening habits and where innovation is happening in popular music. From super-practical suggestions to total pipe dreams, here’s what we’d like to see:

Best Alternative Song
 

Best Breakthrough Artist

Let's be real -- "best new artist" has long since lost all meaning. Bebe Rexha, who sang the hook for two 2015 Hot 100 top ten hits, is not a new artist. Luke Combs, who had already scored two Country Airplay No. 1 hits by the time last year's Grammy nominees were announced, is not a new artist. Chloe x Halle, who initially went viral for a Beyoncé cover they recorded in 2013, are not a new artist. And yet, the Grammys insist on having it both ways, disqualifying Kane Brown, Cardi B, Post Malone and other potential BNA nominees based on technicalities that somehow didn't cover all these other new-not-new artists. It's bizarre.

But good news: It's an easy fix. Just split best new artist into two categories -- one still titled best new artist, and another titled best breakthrough artist. For "best new artist," define the parameters very strictly: Only artists who have under a certain number of officially released songs prior to this year (say, seven, so a couple singles or an EP won't disqualify) and had never hit the top half of a Billboard chart before. For "best breakthrough artist"? Go nuts! Post Malone counts! Camila Cabello counts! Alessia Cara counts! OK, maybe not Alessia anymore, but anyone whom you could make a credible case for as a breakthrough artist for is eligible -- unless they're also eligible for "best new artist," in which case they're relegated to that one. More artists acknowledged, and fewer pedantic arguments about who belongs where: Everybody wins. -- ANDREW UNTERBERGER

Spoiler

I agree with this.

Best Latin Song
 

Best Pop Song
 

Best Dancehall Album
 

Best Female Rap Solo Performance
 

Best Stage/Tour Production Design

We’re living in the golden age of live music. Big-budget artists are selling out arenas and stadiums at a record-breaking rate and, just last November, Taylor Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour became the most successful U.S. tour in Billboard Boxscore history (earning $345 million). It’s a testament to the artist’s music, yes, but also to what the artists bring to the table at each show. Who can forget Kanye West’s floating stage on the Saint Pablo Tour, or Travis Scott riding a rollercoaster around the crowd on the Astroworld Tour, or even Roger Waters’ massive “The Wall” design (on many of his tours but most recently the Us + Them Tour), just to name a few? Stage production is its own art form, and the designers and creatives behind the sets ought to be included at the Grammys each year. Adding a production design category would not only up the ante for other artists, it also might prevent other artists from mimicking other designs. (For smaller-budget acts, a separate category highlighting best visual effects would be sufficient too.) While the Recording Academy doesn’t have any awards highlighting music tours yet, it's worth noting that the AMAs awarded their inaugural tour of the year award in 2016 (to Beyonce’s Formation World Tour) and Billboard is gearing up for its sixteenth annual Live Music Awards in November (which awards a tour of the year, among other tour categories). It’s time the Academy followed suit. -- XANDER ZELLNER

Spoiler

Isn't Grammy Award for Best Music Film basically for this. How are people going to nominate tours/events/staging if they don't witness it live in person.

Best Live Album
 

Best Latin Urban Album
 

Best Dance Album and Best Electronic Album
 

Best Afrobeat Album
 

Best Merchandise

The Recording Academy already recognizes physical products in the music industry with awards for album packaging and boxed sets. But there’s another material good that, as streaming makes physical album sales less relevant, is growing in influence: merchandise, which makes billions of dollars (take that, jewel cases!) and even plays a role in determining who’s topping the charts via merch bundles. Why not show some love to the artists and designers making our favorite apparel the way we do with those creating our favorite album covers? -- N.F.

Spoiler

I find this a weird suggestion.  Should OU or fast fashion be able to get on this. 

Best Album That Doesn't Really Fit in a Genre

Call it the Lorde award: Because her sophomore set Melodrama didn't quite fit into any genre category neatly -- it wasn't quite pop, wasn't quite rock, maybe didn't feel natural for alternative -- it was somehow nominated for album of the year in 2018 but not anything else. That's a problem, and one we should only be seeing more of in the years to come. Where should Khalid's next set go? How about Billie Eillish's debut LP? Lil Peep's posthumous album? It's bad enough that this year, we're wasting time pretending that Fall Out Boy and Greta Van Fleet still belong in the same rock category, or Beck and Ariana Grande in the same pop one. Let’s give the Grammys their own "Miscellaneous" folder and finally clean up the clutter a little. -- A.U.

Spoiler

This category seems like a "At least you tried" award 

The Jimi Hendrix Hindsight Award

Would you believe that Jimi Hendrix was only ever nominated for one Grammy? That single nod was for his virtuosic instrumental take on "The Star-Spangled Banner" -- and he didn't even win. The Recording Academy has since given the late legend a lifetime achievement award, but we think they could do even better. That's where the Jimi Hendrix Hindsight Award comes in: a category where, each year, five albums or songs that should have been nominated for Grammys when they were originally released go head-to-head to determine which was the most egregious oversight. If you thought The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds or Marvin Gaye's What's Going On should have been nominated, this is where those now-classics get their due. -- KATIE ATKINSON
 

Spoiler

Seems like a VMA kinda of thing. Isn't there a Grammy HOF. 

 

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That would just be the AMAs kinda but I would love to see some of those categories at the Grammys tho

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24 minutes ago, 1DES said:

 

Best Album That Doesn't Really Fit in a Genre 

Call it the Lorde award: Because her sophomore set Melodrama didn't quite fit into any genre category neatly -- it wasn't quite pop, wasn't quite rock, maybe didn't feel natural for alternative -- it was somehow nominated for album of the year in 2018 but not anything else. That's a problem, and one we should only be seeing more of in the years to come. Where should Khalid's next set go? How about Billie Eillish's debut LP? Lil Peep's posthumous album? It's bad enough that this year, we're wasting time pretending that Fall Out Boy and Greta Van Fleet still belong in the same rock category, or Beck and Ariana Grande in the same pop one. Let’s give the Grammys their own "Miscellaneous" folder and finally clean up the clutter a little. -- A.U.

 

"This category seems like a "At least you tried" award "

it actually sounds like the exact opposite  :rip:  "You tried too hard and now we don't know what to do with you"

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4 minutes ago, M-P-B said:

it actually sounds like the exact opposite  :rip:  "You tried too hard and now we don't know what to do with you"

Quote

"This category seems like a "At least you tried" award "

 

way to support artist who are successful in creating an excellent original sound :rip:

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:mazen: some of these, just no.

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About best stage, it may sound off bc Grammy is about music, right? 

(But they also make category for album packaging)

 

But I'm here for best live production

Like Taylor's IDSB and Don't Blame Me production on Tour. It deserves a Grammy 

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Nah these are wack

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Best Album Packaging is already weird enough, they want Best Merchandise? :toofunny3:

 

If anything, I wish the Grammy would separate solo performances into male, female, and instrumental again rather than put them all together. 

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I like the Best Breakthroughs Artist one. The other ones however....

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Terrible suggestions. 

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Billboard: .......

Grammys:

ir0KC2x.gif

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Best Pop Song is long overdue. Not sure about the rest. I wouldn't mind alternative song I guess. Iirc for metal there is only album category but not any performance / song one. I dislike the "female rap" award. It was a move into the right direction to erase genre categories.

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Best Pop Song is the only one that makes sense.

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Kane Brown wasn't able to be up for Best New Artist but Bebe Rexha was allowed? :rip: What even

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Just now, JustHoran said:

Kane Brown wasn't able to be up for Best New Artist but Bebe Rexha was allowed? :rip: What even

Bebe is my girl but it makes no sense lol

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Where was the best tour stage award during the BTWB cause whew 

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skip all of this and just find voters with musical taste :sorry:

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If they called the Best No Genres category Best Mixed Genre Album it would actually work. Albums like Melodrama and Lemonade could belong there. I like Best Breakthrough Artist too

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They need to just cut so many of the categories. The reason they are declining is because someone winning a Grammy doesn't feel like a prestige anymore.

 

They need like 20 categories at best, some of them are mega specific. They need to take notes from the Oscars

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6 hours ago, 1DES said:

Best Album That Doesn't Really Fit in a Genre

Rihanna would've won this with Anti in 2017 :cm:

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BNA is a mess. But honestly I don't know if creating a Breakthrough award would solve this, it's all about making the rules clear. they could mess it up even with 2 categories.

 

Best Album That Doesn't Really Fit in a Genre / The Jimi Hendrix  Hindsight Award are a joke tho. are they serious? lol. those two are horrible in every possible way.

 

I'd like to see more genre categories tho.

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12 hours ago, 1DES said:

Best Female Rap Solo Performance

What would be the point :skull: There are only a handful of solo female rappers and Cardi B and Nicki are the only big ones.

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Splitting Dance and Electronic albums would be a great idea.  The genres can be so different at times, like the Tycho album that was just released is definitely a top electronic album but in no way is a dance album.  

 

 

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