The Grammys are to stop using “urban” to describe music of black origin in its awards categories.
Best Urban Contemporary Album” has been renamed “Best Progressive R&B Album,” a move intended “to describe the merit or characteristics of music compositions or performances themselves,” according to a press release.
The definition for “Best Progressive R&B Album” describes records with “the more progressive elements of R&B,” which “may include samples and elements of hip-hop, rap, dance, and electronic music” as well as “production elements found in pop, euro-pop, country, rock, folk, and alternative.”
Other sweeping changes to its rules and guidelines, include the “Best New Artist” category which will no longer be held to a “specified maximum number of releases. Instead, “screening committees will determine whether the artist had attained a breakthrough or prominence prior to the eligibility year.”
Elsewhere, “Best Rap/Sung Performance” has been renamed “Best Melodic Rap Performance,” referring to “solo and collaborative performances containing … a strong and clear presence of melody combined with rap cadence.