It wasn't until 1988 that rap music was recognized by the Recording Academy with a specific Grammy award. With 44th annual ceremony, the organization will expand the genre's honors to include a fourth

It wasn't until 1988 that rap music was recognized by the Recording Academy with a specific Grammy award. With the 44th annual ceremony, the organization will expand the genre's honors to include a fourth award, best rap/sung collaboration. The award splinters such recordings from the best rap performance by a duo or group category, which, starting with the 2002 awards, will only include recordings by established duos and/or groups, and "collaborative rap/rap performances."

In 1988, the first best rap performance honor went to DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince for the single "Parents Just Don't Understand." Two years later, the Academy's recognition of the burgeoning genre led to the split of that award into solo and group performance awards. In 1995, the best rap album category was added.

The new category was established during the Recording Academy's annual meeting of its board of trustees late last month. Additionally, it was decided that the album of the year award will also recognize the winning work's mastering engineer, in addition to its producers and engineers/mixers. Also, the remixer of the year award has been redefined as the best remixed recording, to be awarded to a remixer for a specific recording, rather than that year's body of work.

In other news, the Latin Recording Academy has moved the second annual Latin Grammy Awards, originally scheduled for Sept. 12 in Miami, to Sept. 11. The event, which will take place at the city's AmericanAirlines Arena, will be broadcast on CBS television in the U.S. The switch also bumps the Latin Recording Academy's person of the year gala to Sept. 10. Julio Iglesias is this year's honoree.