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Soundtracks garner slot at Grammys

Latin Grammy Awards plans solidified

Recognizing the significant role songs from films play in the pop music universe, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences has added a best soundtrack album category to its Grammy Awards.

The new listing joins several other category newcomers that will be added to the 42nd annual Grammy Awards being held in February.

The changes, as well as several other initiatives, such as boosting the money distributed in grants by the Recording Academy, were implemented during the org’s annual meeting May 17-21.

The soundtrack album category will be part of a new field: music for film, television and other visual media.

The field will comprise soundtrack, song from a motion picture, television or other visual media and instrumental composition for a motion picture, television or other visual media.

Film songs matter

“It’s a category that should be recognized. Especially when you consider the importance record companies place on songs in films to help sell records and develop artists’ careers,” Warner Bros. Music prexy Gary LeMel told Daily Variety of the soundtrack category.

LeMel was among the most vocal of the major studio music chiefs in getting the category added.

NARAS prexy/CEO Michael Greene said, “We are acknowledging the integral role these recordings play in the marketing and sales of a film, as well as in establishing the mood.”

In the Latin field, the addition of the new categories of salsa performance and merengue performance will broaden the already existing tropical performance category. The overall listing will be renamed the traditional tropical performance category.

The academy also solidified plans for the Latin Grammy Awards, with the inaugural broadcast set for June.

More grants

The Academy Trustees, a 38-member governing body overseeing the efforts of the Recording Academy, voted to increase to $250,000 the amount of funds disbursed as part of the acad’s grant program.

This year the academy awarded grants to 12 projects focusing on music research, occupational well-being and archiving & preservation. The increase will help fund a larger number of valuable projects in the near future.

Reflecting the academy’s ongoing emphasis on membership throughout the country, the Philadelphia branch received authorization to upgrade to a chapter of the Recording Academy.

The move indicates a consistently growing number of music industry professionals in the Philadelphia area.

The academy now has nine chapters and three branches housing 14,000 members, up from 3,000 in 1989.