The Latin Academy notified members that it has created three new categories for the 2020 edition of the awards. Two of those, best reggaeton performance and best rap/hip hop song, will fall under the Urban Field.
The best reggaeton performance category is for predominantly reggaeton songs (as defined by the Urban committee), and will go to the artist. The best rap/hip hop song category will include trap, rap, and hip hop and will go to the songwriter. Instrumental recordings, sampling and cover songs are not eligible.
The addition of the categories is a response to complaints from urban artists and managers last year who in several social media posts and interviews said the Latin Academy did not adequately represent urban music or reggaeton.
The Academy also added a best pop/rock song category that will fall under the rock field and is described for “songs that fit in the pop mainstream but have a rock twist.” Again, instrumental recordings are not eligible, but why that is, is not immediately clear.
In addition, in what amounts to a major shift, submissions to the Academy will now be done via streaming links instead of physical product. Eligible streaming services are: Amazon Music, Apple Music, Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, and YouTube Music.
The Academy did not service a press release announcing the new categories but instead notified members directly.