Grammys: Global Recognition of the African Music Industry

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Every musician aspires to achieve Grammy recognition. Recipients of the Grammy Awards are considered highly prestigious in the music industry and for good reason. Being declared a Grammy Award winner brings a sense of pride and prestige to a musician, significantly influencing their career. Even if an artist doesn’t win, a Grammy nomination alone can greatly enhance their musical journey.


Established in 1959, the Grammys recognize outstanding artists for their impactful contributions to the music industry. These awards are presented annually, alongside other major entertainment awards like Emmy, Oscar, and Tony Awards. Artists must meet certain requirements to submit their music for consideration. 


Submissions must be publicly available between October 1 of the previous year and August 31 of the voting year. For album submissions, recordings should have a minimum of 15 minutes of playtime with at least 5 different tracks or a maximum playtime of 30 minutes. Recordings must be available for sale through physical stores or online platforms, including digital downloads and recognized streaming services. Each submitted song needs correct metadata information and an International Standard Recording Code (ISRC).


Meeting these requirements makes an artist eligible for Grammy submissions. It’s important to note that Grammy entries differ from nominations. An entry involves submitting a recording to the Recording Academy for consideration. Voting members then cast their votes, leading to nominations for entries with the highest votes. These nominated entries are categorized into relevant groups, officially known as Grammy nominations.


Grammy entries are made exclusively by members of the Academy. There are also a set of conditions to ensure that the Grammy statuette is treated with respect and exclusivity befitting its status as a prestigious award and that its use aligns with the intended purpose of honoring the recipient’s creative achievements in the music industry.


The Grammy Awards’ decision to include an African music category demonstrates how far we’ve gone and how far we still have to go. It demonstrates that people are taking notice. The world is becoming aware of our music. Furthermore, there is a growing global curiosity about how we express ourselves creatively. They would be guilty of creative malpractice if they did not listen to African music, therefore they had no option. Particularly because of the wide range of diversity found in the continent’s musical offerings.


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