NEW YORK — A year after the Grammy Awards cut 31 categories, sparking protests and a lawsuit by Latin jazz musicians, the music organization has made more changes by adding three awards, including the reinstatement of best Latin jazz album, The Associated Press reported Friday.
The Recording Academy announced Friday that the upcoming Grammys will feature 81 categories. It reduced the number from 109 to 78 last year.
New entries include awards for best urban contemporary album — to honor R&B albums that may include elements of pop and rock — and best classical compendium to highlight albums “involving a mixture of classical subgenres.”
The Academy shook up the music industry when it announced in April 2011 that it would downsize its categories to make the awards more competitive. That meant eliminating categories by gender, so men and women compete in the same vocal categories.
But it also eliminated other niche fields and created broader ones.
Some artists protested the change and others — including Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon and Bill Cosby — complained. The group that filed a lawsuit, which was dismissed in April, was led by Bobby Sanabria, the Grammy-nominated Latin jazz musician who accused the Academy of not following the proper procedures to implement the changes. Part of the class-action lawsuit called for the reinstatement of the best Latin jazz album award.
That award was consolidated, making Latin jazz musicians compete against a larger group of artists in the best jazz instrumental category at the 54th Grammys, which were held in February.