The Recording Academy announced two months ago that at least 30 categories will be either eliminated or modified at next year’s Grammy Awards.
Some of those eliminations will be five R&B categories including Best R&B Female, Best R&B Male, Best Urban Alternative Performance, Best Contemporary R&B Album, and Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal.
Many members of the urban music community are angered by the Academy’s decision.
Music industry notables such as Beyonce’s dad and former manager Matthew Knowles, singers Musiq Soulchild and Betty Wright, among others, have joined an effort to persuade the Academy to reinstate those R&B categories. Simultaneously, other established artists, community leaders, record executives, and radio and TV personalities will voice their concerns at Recording Academy chapters nationwide.
The goal of the protest is to also bring spotlight on the declining recognition of R&B, Funk, Soul music on the mainstream scale. This month, the music community issued a formal statement of protest to The Recording Academy offices in Atlanta, Santa Monica, D.C., Philly, Chicago and New York.
Though the urban music community is agitated with the Academy, it contends that it respects the organization and encourages all to support it, and that its issue is solely with the awards process of the company.