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Highlife included in the New Grammy Category for Best African Performance

Ghana’s Highlife Music Recognized in New Grammy Category for Best African Music Performance

Ghana’s renowned Highlife music has received recognition as one of the prominent African music styles included in the newly introduced Best African Music Performance category at the upcoming Grammy Awards. The addition of this category is part of the prestigious awards scheme’s expansion, which also includes the Best Alternative Jazz Album and Best Pop Dance Recording categories.

In addition to Highlife music, the influential Ghanaian drill genre spearheaded by the Asaaka boys from Kumasi has been mentioned as another music style eligible for the Grammy’s Best African Music Performance category. This news brings reassurance to the promoters of Highlife who have long advocated for global recognition of the genre.

Last year, Harvey Mason Jr., the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Recording Academy, expressed the organization’s intention to provide proper representation for African music during his visit to Ghana. The newly introduced “Best African Music Performance” category aims to recognize recordings that incorporate unique local expressions from across the African continent, showcasing regional melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic musical traditions.

The category encompasses various genres, including Afrobeat, Afro-fusion, Afro Pop, Afrobeats, Alte, Amapiano, Bongo Flava, Genge, Kizomba, Chimurenga, Highlife, Fuji, Kwassa, Ndombolo, Mapouka, Ghanaian Drill, Afro-House, South African Hip-Hop, and Ethio Jazz.

According to, these category additions and amendments were approved during the Recording Academy’s recent semiannual Board of Trustees meeting in May 2023.

“The Recording Academy is proud to announce these latest category changes to our Awards process. These changes reflect our commitment to actively listen and respond to the feedback from our music community, accurately represent a diverse range of relevant musical genres, and stay aligned with the ever-evolving musical landscape,” commented Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr.

Mason further explained, “By introducing these three new categories, we are able to acknowledge and appreciate a broader array of artists – and relocating the Producer of the Year and Songwriter of the Year categories to the General Field ensures that all our voters can participate in recognizing excellence in these fields. We are excited to honor and celebrate the creators and recordings in these categories while also exposing a wider range of music to fans worldwide.”




By Afia Owusu/|Ghana

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