Hawaiian music category, 30 others axed from Grammy Awards

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Recording Academy announced Wednesday that it has restructured the Grammy categories for the 54th annual Grammy Awards in 2012.

Thirty-one music categories -- including the Hawaiian music category -- have been eliminated, dropping the total number of categories from 109 to 78.

"Every year, we diligently examine our Awards structure to develop an overall guiding vision and ensure that it remains a balanced and viable process," The Academy's president and CEO Neil Portnow said. "After careful and extensive review and analysis of all Categories and Fields, it was objectively determined that our GRAMMY Categories be restructured to the continued competition and prestige of the highest and only peer-recognized award in music. Our Board of Trustees continues to demonstrate its dedication to keeping The Recording Academy a pertinent and responsive organization in our dynamic music community."

The Mountain Apple Company Hawaii released the following statement:

"It is regrettable that - at a time when Hawaiian music as a genre is experiencing greater popularity and gaining traction with new audiences - the music industry will lose an international platform for recognizing gifted artists. Hawaiian music deserves to be acknowledged as a category in its own right, not only for reasons of language but for cultural and historical reasons as well. It is more than simply music from a specific geographic region; Hawaiian music is unique. Due to the nature of the worldwide music industry, it is incredibly challenging for artists from less dominant cultures and non-English speaking backgrounds to break though into mainstream music. For Hawaiian artists, the Grammys served as a key vehicle to achieve this objective. History has shown that when mainstream audiences get to know a Hawaiian artist, the results can be remarkable. Take for example that US Platinum artist IZ (Israel Kamakawiwo'ole) just received an Echo Award in Germany for Song of the Year (the Echo Awards are Germany's version of the Grammys). This remarkable popularity is testament to the potential for Hawaiian music as a genre.

The loss of the Grammy for Best Hawaiian Music Album is not only a major loss to the Hawaiian, but to music lovers across the globe. The Grammys have the power to reach millions, if not billions, of new listeners - people who are waiting and watching for new music.

We look forward to the Recording Academy taking the opportunity to reconsider this decision in the near future."

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