CATEGORY DEFINITIONS

CALENDAR | THE PROCESS | THE CATEGORIES | CATEGORY DEFINITIONS | SPECIAL AWARDS

 

Eligibility Year For The 19th Annual Latin GRAMMY® Awards:

June 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018

 

GENERAL FIELD (CATEGORIES 1 – 4)

Recordings entered in the following GENERAL CATEGORIES (including Portuguese language recordings) should represent the best over-all achievements in performance, production, and songwriting.

 

1. RECORD OF THE YEAR (SINGLES OR TRACKS ONLY)

For commercially released singles or tracks of new vocal or instrumental recordings.  Tracks from a  previous year’s album may be entered provided the track was not entered the previous year, and provided the album did not win a Latin GRAMMY.  Award to the Artist(s), Album Producer(s), Recording Engineer(s), and/or Mixer(s), and Mastering Engineer(s) if other than the artist. 

NOTE: Associate Producers and Executive Producers are not eligible.

 

2. ALBUM OF THE YEAR (ALBUMS ONLY)

For Vocal or Instrumental Albums. Albums must contain at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material. Award to the Artist(s), Songwriter(s) of new material, (with at least 33% of playing time of the album), Album Producer(s), Recording Engineer(s), Mixer(s), and Mastering Engineer(s) if other than the artist.

NOTE:  Associate Producers and Executive Producers are not eligible. Albums of previously released recordings (reissues, compilations of old recordings and “Best Of” packages) are not eligible.

 

3. SONG OF THE YEAR (SINGLES OR TRACKS ONLY)

A song must contain at least 51% of the lyrics in Spanish or Portuguese and must be a new song.  Award to the Songwriter(s). Not Eligible: Instrumental recordings and cover songs.

 

4. BEST NEW ARTIST (ALBUMS, SINGLES/TRACKS)

A Best New Artist is defined as any performing artist/group who has not reached a prominent level of recognition at a regional level (i.e. at a Latin Regional Level, whether it’s due to the fact that their recording was not released in some major markets or when the recording has been successful in a few markets but it’s not known to the regional critical mass). Minimum releases to meet eligibility: Four (4) singles/tracks or one (1) album released during the current eligibility period. Albums must contain 51% Spanish or Portuguese lyrics. Award to the artist or established group.

Not eligible:

• Orchestras or choruses.

• Albums containing less than five (5) different tracks.

• An artist may not compete in this category more than three (3) times, including as a performing member of an established group.

• When the recording artist participated in a prominent role as part of a group that received a Latin GRAMMY Nomination.

• An artist who has released three (3) albums or less than 4 samples/tracks.

• If the recording artist was also the songwriter on a nominated recording in any song category and the song gained its prominence by the songwriter as primary artist.

• A recording artist or group that establishes his/her/its public identity in a language other than Spanish or Portuguese.

• A recording artist or group that establishes his/her/its public identity in a language other than Spanish or Portuguese.

• Recording artists or groups that have received a Latin GRAMMY Award.

 

POP FIELD

5. BEST CONTEMPORARY POP VOCAL ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For albums containing 51% or more playing time of newly recorded (previously unreleased) material and 51%playing time of Contemporary Pop music. Albums must also contain 51% or more playing time of vocal tracks. For solo artists, duos or groups.

 

6. BEST TRADITIONAL POP VOCAL ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For albums containing 51% or more playing time of newly recorded (previously unreleased) material and 51% playing time of Traditional Pop music. Albums must also contain 51% or more playing time of vocal tracks. For solo artists, duos or groups.

Note: Portuguese language recordings are NOT eligible in this Field. They are eligible in the Portuguese Language Field.

 

URBAN FIELD

7. BEST URBAN FUSION/PERFORMANCE (SINGLES OR TRACKS ONLY)

For commercially released singles or tracks (vocal or instrumental) of recordings that contain 51% or more playing time of newly recorded (previously unreleased) material, and 51% playing time of Urban music. It could include a Fusion mix of urban styles with other genres as long as the urban character predominates. For solo artists, duos or groups.

 

8. BEST URBAN MUSIC ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Urban music albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material.  Includes Merenguehouse, R&B, Reggaeton, Rap, and Hip-Hop music.

 

9. BEST URBAN SONG (SINGLES OR TRACKS ONLY)

A song must contain at least 51% of the lyrics in Spanish or Portuguese and must be a new song.  Award to the Songwriter(s).  Not Eligible: Instrumental recordings and cover songs. 

Note: Portuguese language recordings are eligible in this Field.               

 

ROCK FIELD

10. BEST ROCK ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Rock albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material. For solo artists, duos or groups.

 

11. BEST POP/ROCK ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material. For solo artists, duos or groups.

 

12. BEST ROCK SONG (SINGLES OR TRACKS ONLY)

Best Rock Song is for singles or tracks from the genres included in the Rock field such as Rock and Pop/Rock. A song must contain at least 51% of the lyrics in Spanish and must be a new song. Award to the Songwriter(s).   Not Eligible: Instrumental recordings and cover songs.

Note: Portuguese language recordings are NOT eligible in this Field. They are eligible in the Portuguese Language Field.

 

ALTERNATIVE FIELD

13. BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal (in Spanish) or instrumental alternative albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded music.  This category is intended for recordings of a non-traditional form that exist (at least initially) outside of the mainstream music consciousness.  Its avant-garde approach may utilize new technology or new production techniques and contain elements of Rock, Pop, R&B, Dance, Folk, Reggae, or even Classical musical styles.  For solo artists, duos or groups.

 

14. BEST ALTERNATIVE SONG (SINGLES OR TRACKS ONLY)

A song must contain at least 51% of the lyrics in Spanish and must be a new song. Award to the Songwriter(s).   Not Eligible: Instrumental recordings and cover songs. 

Note: Portuguese language recordings are NOT eligible in this Field. They are eligible in the Portuguese Language Field.

 

TROPICAL FIELD

15. BEST SALSA ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Salsa albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material.  For Solo artists, duos or groups.

 

16. BEST CUMBIA/VALLENATO ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Cumbia/Vallenato albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material.  For Solo artists, duos or groups.

 

17. BEST CONTEMPORARY TROPICAL ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Contemporary Tropical albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material that are not Salsa or Cumbia/Vallenato.  For Solo artists, duos or groups.

 

18. BEST TRADITIONAL TROPICAL ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Traditional Tropical albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material.  The genres of Son, Danzón, Guaracha and Bomba interpreted in a traditional style are eligible in this category.  For Solo artists, duos or groups. 

 

19. BEST TROPICAL FUSION ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material  based on classic tropical rhythms as Salsa, Merengue, Vallenato, Cumbia, and Bachata, mixed with cutting edge (or avant-garde) sounds as Electronic, Rock, and Pop. For solo artists, duos, or groups.

 

20. BEST TROPICAL SONG (SINGLES OR TRACKS ONLY)

For singles or tracks of genres included within this field: Salsa, Cumbia/Vallenato, Contemporary Tropical, Traditional Tropical and Tropical Fusion. A song must contain at least 51% of the lyrics in Spanish and must be a new song. Award to the Songwriter(s).  Not Eligible: Instrumental recordings and cover songs.

Note:    Portuguese language recordings are NOT eligible in this Field.

 

SINGER-SONGWRITER FIELD

21. BEST SINGER-SONGWRITER ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For solo artists or duos.  Singer-songwriter(s) MUST compose and interpret 75% of the album on their own to be eligible in this category. “Live” Albums are eligible if the album contains 51% new unreleased material (this is material released during the eligibility period).  (“Live” recordings of greatest hits are not eligible).  Albums entered in this field are also eligible ONLY in Album of The Year, Best New Artist (if applicable), Recording Package and in the Production Field.

Note: Portuguese language recordings are eligible in this field.

REGIONAL MEXICAN FIELD

22. BEST RANCHERO/MARIACHI ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Ranchero or Mariachi albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material.  For Solo artists, duos or groups.

 

23. BEST BANDA ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Banda albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material.  For Solo artists, duos or groups.

 

24. BEST TEJANO ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Tejano albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material.  For Solo artists, duos or groups.

 

25. BEST NORTEÑO ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Norteño albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material.  For Solo artists, duos or groups.

 

26. BEST REGIONAL MEXICAN SONG (SINGLES OR TRACKS ONLY)

For singles or tracks of genres included within this field: Ranchero/Mariachi, Banda, Tejano and Norteño. A song must contain at least 51% of the lyrics in Spanish and must be a new song. Award to the Songwriter(s).   Not Eligible: Instrumental recordings and cover songs.

Note:    Portuguese language recordings are NOT eligible in this Field.

 

INSTRUMENTAL FIELD

27. BEST INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For albums containing 51% or more playing time of INSTRUMENTAL tracks.  Includes all genres of Latin instrumental recordings.

 

TRADITIONAL FIELD

28. BEST FOLK ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Folk albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material.  For Solo artists, duos or groups.

 

29. BEST TANGO ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Tango albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material.  For Solo artists, duos or groups.

 

30. BEST FLAMENCO ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Flamenco albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material.  For Solo artists, duos or groups.

 

JAZZ FIELD

31. BEST LATIN JAZZ/JAZZ ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material.  For solo artists, duos or groups.  Portuguese language recordings are eligible in this category. The core recordings entered in this category, will be those of Latin Jazz.  However, the Jazz Committee may agree to admit other recordings that contain basic elements of straight ahead jazz, that can include Afro-Cuban Jazz variations, Filin, Bossa-Nova, Samba Jazz, Fusion Jazz, Contemporary Jazz or any other jazz or jazz-like performance practice that contain basic Latin rhythmic elements or have a significant Latin connection.  ALL recordings entered into this category will be subject to evaluation and further approval of a specific committee in order to be admitted.

 

CHRISTIAN FIELD

32. BEST CHRISTIAN ALBUM (SPANISH LANGUAGE) (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Spanish Christian albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material.  For Solo artists, duos or groups.

 

33. BEST PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE CHRISTIAN ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Portuguese Christian albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material.  For Solo artists, duos or groups.

 

PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE FIELD

34. BEST PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE CONTEMPORARY POP ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Portuguese Language Contemporary Pop albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material.  For Solo artists, duos or groups.

 

35. BEST PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE ROCK OR ALTERNATIVE ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Portuguese Language Rock albums and/or Alternative albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material.  Alternative music is generally defined as recordings of a non-traditional form that exist (at least initially) outside of the mainstream music consciousness.  Its avant-garde approach may utilize new technology or new production techniques and contain elements of Rock, Pop, R&B, Dance, Folk, Reggae, or even Classical. For Solo artists, duos or groups.

 

36. BEST SAMBA/PAGODE ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Samba/Pagode albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material.  For Solo artists, duos or groups.

 

37. BEST MUSICA POPULAR BRASILEIRA ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Musica Popular Brasileira albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material.  For Solo artists, duos or groups.

 

38. BEST SERTANEJA MUSIC ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Sertaneja music albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material.  For Solo artists, duos or groups.

 

39. BEST PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE ROOTS ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For vocal or instrumental Portuguese Language Roots albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material.  For Solo artists, duos or groups.

 

40. BEST PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE SONG (SINGLES OR TRACKS ONLY)            

For singles or tracks of genres included within this field: Contemporary Pop, Rock, Alternative, Samba/Pagode, MPB, Sertaneja, and Roots. A song must contain at least 51% of the lyrics in Portuguese and must be a new song. Award to the Songwriter(s).   Not Eligible: Instrumental recordings and cover songs. 

 

CHILDREN’S FIELD

41. BEST LATIN CHILDREN’S ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

This category is restricted for recordings that are created and intended specifically for children.  Includes Portuguese language recordings.  Award to the artist with 51% or more playing time of the album.  (If no artist is credited with sufficient playing time, the award will go to the producer.

 

CLASSICAL FIELD

42. BEST CLASSICAL ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For any Classical album released for the first time during the Eligibility Year.  Albums of previously released recordings (Reissues, Compilations and “Best Of” packages) are not eligible.  Includes Portuguese language recordings.  Award to the Artist(s) and Producer(s).

 

43. BEST CLASSICAL CONTEMPORARY COMPOSITION (SINGLES OR TRACKS ONLY)

For vocals or instrumental recordings includes a Capella. For a newly recorded original composition composed within the last twenty-five (25) years (a composition is NOT eligible if composed before 1993) and released for the first time within the Eligibility Year. A composer should not be entered more than twice in the Best Classical Composition category, if the artist is the same.

Award to the Composer.

 

ARRANGEMENT FIELD

44. BEST ARRANGEMENT (SINGLES OR TRACKS ONLY)  

An arrangement including instruments and vocals, instrumentals, and a Capella. An arrangement is the organization of structure, rhythm, melodies, and harmonies for instruments and/or voices into a cohesive performance piece or recording. An arrangement can be a development, enhanced adaptation or a considerable reworking of an original composition and may include the use of dynamics, modulations, tempo variations, improvisation, and various textures. Arrangement must be new, released for the first time on any recording during the current eligibility year. Award to: Arranger(s). An arranger should not be entered more than twice in the Best Arrangement category, whether for instrumental or vocal arrangement (a Capella) included, if the artist is the same.

 

RECORDING PACKAGE FIELD

45. BEST RECORDING PACKAGE (ALBUMS ONLY)

For graphic design, quality and concept recording packages, in any configuration, released for the first time during the Eligibility Year; even if contents were previously released and providing the packaging is new. Only original artwork is eligible.  Also eligible are digital recording packages providing proper credits and supporting material are received.  Award to the Art Director(s).

Not Eligible: 

If basic packaging is old (cover, notes, etc.) but there is a new design on the disc itself, the package is not eligible.  The category is for the entire package, not just a portion of the package.    

 

PRODUCTION FIELD

46. BEST ENGINEERED ALBUM (ALBUMS ONLY)

For newly recorded albums released for the first time during the current Eligibility Year.  Award to eligibly credited recording engineer(s), mixing engineer(s) and mastering engineer(s).

Not Eligible:

Albums of previously released material do not qualify. Engineers credited as “assistant”, “additional”, “second engineer(s)”, etc., are not eligible.

 

47. PRODUCER OF THE YEAR (ALBUMS, SINGLES OR TRACKS)

For a Producer whose recordings were released for the first time during the current Eligibility Year and represent consistently outstanding creativity in the area of record production.

Minimum Qualifications:

One album credit: must have eligible producer credit for at least 51% playing time of an album.

 

--- or ---

 

Six (6) track/single credits: Must have eligible producer credit for at least six individual tracks or singles. These tracks or singles cannot be from albums released outside of the current eligibility year even if an album track was subsequently released as a single during the current eligibility year. The maximum number of tracks or albums that will be listed under each producer or producer team’s body of work on the ballot is nine.

NOTE: Enter producers as a team only if they have worked together exclusively during the current eligibility year.  If entering an album, please enter album title only and do not enter individual track titles from the same album.  This category is for a producer’s body of work.

 

DO NOT enter all the producers on one album in one entry.

 

NOT ELIGIBLE:

Artist self-production credits only.  If an artist has produced her or his own recording or her or his own groups´ recordings, an entry or entries must be made for at least one track or single produced for a different artist during the current eligibility year in order to qualify.

Recordings not released during the current eligibility period

Reissued recordings

Remixed recordings

Executive producers, Associate producers, or “Additional production” credits.

 

MUSIC VIDEO FIELD

48. BEST MUSIC VIDEO SHORT FORM

For an individual track or single promotional clip.  Award to the Artist and to the Video Director / Video Producer.

ELIGIBLE:

• Music Videos, released for sale to the public for the first time during the Awards Eligibility Year.

• Music Video programs that made a first appearance on broadcast, cable television, or Internet during the Awards Eligibility Year and which are synchronous or predominantly synchronous to a commercially released recording.

• Individual tracks from compilation or sampler video album packages by individual or various artists that were released for the first time during the current or previous Awards Eligibility Year.

NOT ELIGIBLE:

• Non-Musical programs.

• Individual videos taken from video album packages that were eligible in a previous awards year.

 

49. BEST MUSIC VIDEO LONG FORM

For video album packages consisting of more than one song or track.  Award to the Artist and to the Video Director / Video Producer of at least 51% of the total playing time.

ELIGIBLE:

• Music Videos, released for sale to the public for the first time during the Awards Eligibility Year.

• Music Video programs that made a first appearance on broadcast, cable television, or Internet during the Awards Eligibility Year and which are synchronous or predominantly synchronous to a commercially released recording.

• Various artist video, such as tribute or live performances. (Award would go to the Director/Producer only.)

• Documentaries of musicians if music is a substantive part of the video.

NOT ELIGIBLE:

• Non-Musical programs.

• Compilation of short form or sampler video packages by various artists.

• Theatrical motion pictures which are or have been in general release.

• Any long form videos or promotional clips which were eligible in a previous Eligibility Year.

• Music videos under twenty (20) minutes in length.