Some few months ago, I wrote about how Beyonce’s ‘The Lion King: The Gift‘ was the biggest spotlight on African music yet, and with Grammy nominations out, many are celebrating Africa’s participation on the album which is up for the Best Pop Vocal Album nod.
This category of the Grammy Awards was rebranded as ‘Best Pop Vocal Album’ in 2001. According to the category description guide for the Awards, the award is presented to artists that perform “albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded pop vocal tracks.”
Although the Beyonce-curated ‘The Lion King: The Gift’ features new songs performed by multiple artists including African stars Tekno, Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Shatta Wale, Burna Boy, Salatiel, Tiwa Savage, Busiswa, and Moonchild Sanelly (with and without Beyonce), Beyonce is the one with the nomination in her name. So if the album wins the Grammy in 2020, it will go to Beyonce.
This category is not to be confused with the Album of The Year category. Album of the Year is awarded for a whole album, and the award is presented to the artist, producer, recording engineer, and mastering engineer for that album.
All persons eligibly credited on a GRAMMY-winning recording will be acknowledged with GRAMMY certificates. Only those eligibly credited as producer and/or engineer, and per the rules of each category, will receive GRAMMY statuettes.
Mastering engineers are eligible in the categories of Album of the Year, Best Historical Album, Best Surround Sound Album, Best Engineered Album Non-Classical and Best Engineered Album Classical. In the Album categories (Best Country Album, Best Reggae Album, etc.) eligibly credited producers and engineers must also have worked on 51% or more of the playing time of the Album to receive GRAMMY statuettes.
So what could the African artists and producers who worked on ‘The Lion King: The Gift’ potentially receive from the Grammys? If they worked on 51% or more of the playing time of the Album, they can receive a GRAMMY statuette if Beyonce wins. But if they didn’t contribute substantially on the Album, they may receive a GRAMMY Certificate of Participation whether Beyonce wins the award or not.
The Recording Academy offers customized participation certificates which recognize anyone who was creatively or professionally involved in a GRAMMY-winning or GRAMMY-nominated recording.
Musicians, composers, publishers, studios, and labels may apply for a participation certificate with proof of participation in a GRAMMY-winning or GRAMMY-nominated record. Certificates are 8.5″ x 11″ with customized information. Certificates are printed on heavy, ivory stock, embossed with the official Recording Academy shield in gold foil. Certificates are shipped unframed with a protective folder.
The issuing of participation certificates currently closed and will reopen February 11th, 2020.