What are the GRAMMYS doing with The Gospel?

Hmm.  The Grammy Academy, if you will, is cutting some categories.  Thirty-one to be exact.

Apparently, this is the academy’s effort to maintain the prestige and competition of the awards.  Well, that’s what the Recording Academy’s President/CEO, Neil Portnow says.  You know what this means for gospel music right?

Well, for starters, it means there is a name change to the Gospel Field.  (There are name changes to other fields as well, but this is a gospel music blog.)  The Gospel Field has been renamed the Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Field.  Then, there are category changes.  The 53rd Grammy Awards had the following categories in the Gospel Field:

  • Best Gospel Performance
  • Best Gospel Song
  • Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album
  • Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album
  • Best Southern, Country Or Bluegrass Gospel Album
  • Best Traditional Gospel Album
  • Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album  

The 54th Grammy Awards will have the following categories in its restructured Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Field:

  • Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance 
  • Best Gospel Song
  • Best Contemporary Christian Music Song
  • Best Gospel Album
  • Best Contemporary Christian Music Album

It will be interesting (to say the least) to see how this restructuring will directly affect the gospel music industry and its artists.  I can think of a few singers who are definitely going to end up unclassifiable.  Of course, they’ll be made to fit for Grammy eligibility, but is it fair to take them out of their artistic zones and to place them in one that doesn’t quite describe them in hopes of a nomination?  I suspect there are going to be quite a few surprises among the next round of nominees.  And we thought gospel music was already competitive…

You can get all the details about the Grammy evolution here.