Grammy Award for Best Progressive R&B Album

The Grammy Award for Best Progressive R&B Album is an honor presented at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards,[1] to recording artists for quality works on albums in the urban contemporary subgenre within the R&B field. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".[2]

Grammy Award for Best Progressive R&B Album
Awarded forquality Progressive R&B music albums
CountryUnited States
Presented byNational Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
First awarded2013
Currently held byLizzo, Cuz I Love You (Deluxe) (2020)

This category was one of the three newly created categories for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards as Best Urban Contemporary Album. In June 2020, the National Academy for Recording Arts & Sciences announced a renaming and redefining of the category. Its new name was Best Progressive R&B Album, with immediate effect, "to appropriately categorize and describe this subgenre. This change includes a more accurate definition to describe the merit or characteristics of music compositions or performances themselves within the genre of R&B".[3] Adding to this, the description of this category is now as follows: "[t]his category is intended to highlight albums that include the more progressive elements of R&B and may include samples and elements of hip-hop, rap, dance, and electronic music. It may also incorporate production elements found in pop, euro-pop, country, rock, folk, and alternative."[3]

According to Recording Academy president Harvey Mason Jr. in the same press release, these changes reflected "the current state of the music industry and how it's evolved over the past 12 months." In the weeks leading up to this decision, the label "urban" to indicate music made by African American musicians, songwriters and producers had come under fire.[4]

The award goes to the artist, producer and engineer/mixer, provided they are credited with more than 50% of playing time on the album. A producer and engineer with less than 50% of playing time, as well as the mastering engineer, can apply for a Winners Certificate[5].


Many African American musicians have disputed the use of the term "urban contemporary", seen as a "catchall for music created by Black artists, regardless of genre".[6] In a backstage interview given after his first Grammy win, artist Tyler, the Creator stated that "[i]t sucks that whenever we — and I mean guys that look like me — do anything that's genre-bending or that's anything, they always put it in a rap or urban category", adding that "I don't like that 'urban' word — it's just a politically correct way to say the n-word to me".[7]


Frank Ocean was the first recipient in 2013
2016 and 2018 award winner, The Weeknd
Beyoncé has won this award twice, in 2017 and 2019
Year[I] Performing artist(s) Work Nominees Ref.
2013 Frank Ocean Channel Orange [8]
2014 Rihanna Unapologetic [10]
2015 Pharrell Williams Girl [11]
2016 The Weeknd Beauty Behind the Madness [12]
2017 Beyoncé Lemonade [13]
2018 The Weeknd Starboy [14]
2019 The Carters Everything Is Love [15]
2020 Lizzo Cuz I Love You (Deluxe) [16]

^[I] Each year is linked to the article about the Grammy Awards held that year.

Artists with multiple winsEdit

2 wins

Artists with multiple nominationsEdit

3 nominations
2 nominations

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Grammy Awards at a Glance". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  2. ^ "Overview". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "The Recording Academy Announces Changes For 63rd Annual GRAMMYs, Releases Rules And Guidelines". The Recording Academy. June 10, 2020. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  4. ^ Minelle, Bethany (June 8, 2020). "Republic Records drops term 'urban' to describe music made by black artists". Sky News. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  5. ^ Grammy Blue Book (edition 2021)
  6. ^ Lewis, Sophie (June 11, 2020). "Grammy Awards renames controversial "urban" category". CBS News. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  7. ^ Owoseje, Toyin (January 27, 2020). "Tyler, The Creator slams Grammys' 'urban' category as a politically correct version of the n-word". CNN. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  8. ^ "2013 Grammy Nominees/Winners: R&B". February 10, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  9. ^ Kennedy, Gerrick D. (February 10, 2013). "Grammys 2013: Frank Ocean wins for urban contemporary album". Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  10. ^ "2014 Nominees" (PDF).
  11. ^ "57th Grammy Nominees". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  12. ^ "Grammy Nominations 2016: See the Full List of Nominees". Billboard.
  13. ^ "Here Is the Complete List of Nominees for the 2017 Grammys". Billboard.
  14. ^ Lynch, Joe (November 28, 2017). "Grammys 2018: See the Complete List of Nominees". Billboard. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  15. ^ "61st Annual GRAMMY Awards". December 6, 2018.
  16. ^ "2020 GRAMMY Awards: Complete Winners List". November 20, 2019.
  17. ^ "Steve Lacy-Moya". November 26, 2019.

External linksEdit