The Recording Academy announced on June 5 the creation of the Best Zydeco Or Cajun Music Album category in Folk Music. It also announced the branching of the Best Latin Rock, Alternative Or Urban Album category into two separate categories: Best Latin Urban Album and Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album, bringing the total number of Grammy categories to 110.
This more than delightful revision comes due to the ever increasing growth of the Latin genre, especially in light of the explosion of reggaeton into popular Latin music, and after six years of campaigning by Zydeco/Cajun artists. Lead by Zydeco musician Terrance Simien and his wife Cynthia, these artists have actively petitioned the Academy to create a separate category for Zydeco and Cajun artists and rallied other local musicians to become members and submit their records for Grammy consideration.
Although Zydeco and Cajun musicians often are nominated in the Grammy's very broad folk category, they’ve often had to compete with folk legends like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and Johnny Cash. The new separate category will not only level the playing field, but will also give better and overdue recognition to new and older artists of this evolving Louisiana music. Similarly, the splitting of the Latin Grammy for rock, alternative and urban will no doubt expand nomination possibilities into the more recent of today’s popular music of its kind.