What Went Down At GRAMMYs On The Hill 2022 In Washington, D.C.: Recap

Paul Morigi/Getty Images for The Recording Academy


What Went Down At GRAMMYs On The Hill 2022 In Washington, D.C.: Recap

This month, GRAMMY winners and nominees took to Capitol Hill to defend creator’s rights. Here’s a look at who they met with and what they advocated for.

Advocacy/May 6, 2022 - 06:52 pm

On Thurs. April 28, the Recording Academy held its annual GRAMMYs On The Hill Advocacy Day, where GRAMMY Winners and Nominees went to our nation's capital to meet with nearly 40 members of Congress and staff to advocate for the rights of music creators.

The group consisted of more than 50 advocates including Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr., actress and singer Sofia Carson, five-time GRAMMY winning duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and other major names in music such as Sean Paul, Cordae, Yolanda Adams, Jon Secada, Gramps Morgan, Nneena Freelon, Emily Bear, and gospel group Take 6.

While meeting with these lawmakers, the artists got a unique opportunity to share their stories and discuss how legislation can have a big impact on the music community with the people in charge of passing said legislation.

At the top of the agenda for GRAMMYs On The Hill was passing the Help Independent Tracks Succeed (HITS) Act, building support for the American Music Fairness Act (AMFA), advancing the PEACE Through Music Diplomacy Act, and improving royalty rates for songwriters and composers.

Autumn Rowe, a recent GRAMMY Winner for Album of the Year for her work on Jon Batiste’s album We Are, kicked off the day by discussing these policies, and more, with Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA). Rowe, a songwriter from the South Bronx, New York, talked about the difficulties of pursuing a career in music in the 21st century. She stated that most people can’t continue to try and make it in this industry because of the financial and mental demands, as well as the lack of opportunities for women, especially women of color.

Furthermore, she stressed the need to pass the aforementioned legislation that would help artists, songwriters, and producers achieve their goals within the music community.

The advocates went on to spread a similar message in dozens of meetings with Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle such as House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT),  Alex Padilla (D-CA), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-OH), Reps. Ron Estes (R-KS), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Ken Buck (R-CO), and Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), among others.

Advocates also got the chance to meet with, and further celebrate, the 2022 GRAMMYs on the Hill Honorees Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Rep. Michael McCaul (T-TX).

How The 2022 GRAMMYs On The Hill Awards Brought Joy, Healing & Reverence For Music People

The Recording Academy Congratulates All Of The Winners & Nominees At The 2023 GRAMMYs: "Keep Shaking Up The World With Your Music"

Photo courtesy of the Recording Academy


The Recording Academy Congratulates All Of The Winners & Nominees At The 2023 GRAMMYs: "Keep Shaking Up The World With Your Music"

As the 2023 GRAMMYs season comes to a close, Recording Academy executives sign off on a historic GRAMMY season with messages of gratitude to all of the winners and nominees at this year's GRAMMY Awards.

Recording Academy/Mar 1, 2023 - 10:55 pm

Every GRAMMY ceremony is a history-making event. But the 2023 GRAMMYs did so for very specific reasons — ones that had an indelible impact on the music industry and cultural landscape worldwide.

Among the most talked-about milestones for the GRAMMYs' big return to Los Angeles as an in-person ceremony: Beyoncé became the person with the most GRAMMYs of all time. Kim Petras scored a big win for the transgender community with her GRAMMY win for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance alongside Sam Smith; she's the first transgender woman to win in that category. Dr. Dre was the inaugural recipient of his namesake Dr. Dre Global Impact Award.

Equally significant were the five new GRAMMY Awards categories debuted and awarded at the 2023 GRAMMYs, making those five recipients the first to receive their respective honors. These inaugural winners, who were awarded at the Premiere Ceremony, included: Tobias Jesso Jr. (Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical); Stephanie Economou (Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games And Other Interactive Media for "Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Dawn Of Ragnarok"); Wet Leg (Best Alternative Music Performance for "Chaise Longue"); Bonnie Raitt (Best Americana Performance for "Made Up Mind"); and J. Ivy (Best Spoken Word Poetry Album for The Poet Who Sat By The Door). On top of that, 57% of this year’s Grammy winners were Black artists or from other underrepresented communities, and 48% were women.

For Recording Academy executives, the 2023 GRAMMYs marked a banner year for Music's Biggest Night — and the music community writ large.

"I'm most proud of the range and diversity of our 91 awards, which continue to evolve and to inspire," Ruby Marchand, Chief Awards & Industry Officer for the Recording Academy, says. "Music as a powerful force for change within our culture and our lives was what struck me as the show unfolded."

Kelley Purcell, the Recording Academy's Vice President of Membership & Industry Relations, echoes the sentiment: "It was inspiring to see a diverse array of artists grace the GRAMMY stage, showing off the beautiful depth and breadth of our industry."

As one of the organization's leaders bridging the inner workings of GRAMMY voting with the wider music industry, Purcell is also inspired by the Recording Academy's esteemed voting membership, who make their voices heard when voting for the nominees and ultimate winners each year during GRAMMY season.

"From submitting eligible recordings to voting and tuning in to watch the GRAMMYs, Recording Academy members know that the GRAMMY process is strongest when every member is involved," she says. "It is always inspiring to witness Recording Academy members take their participation in the GRAMMY process seriously."

"I was inspired to see our members dedicate themselves to every step of the Awards process and celebrate musical excellence as peers," Marchand adds.

As the 2023 GRAMMYs season comes to a close, the Recording Academy is extending a mighty, heartfelt congratulations to all of this year's GRAMMY winners and nominees. Your well-earned achievements, along with the full-fledged commitment of the Academy's wider membership, brought this year's GRAMMY ceremony to life. The Recording Academy will continue to celebrate all GRAMMY winners and nominees this year and beyond.

"To my wonderful colleagues: Your dedication, professionalism, and heart for our GRAMMY Awards and our amazing musical community is at the heart of what makes our Academy such a special home," Marchand reflects.

"Keep shaking up the world with your music," Purcell adds. "The world needs it."

2023 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Complete Winners & Nominees List

Looking Forward To 2023: Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. On Rebuilding, Laying The Groundwork & Paving The Road Ahead
Harvey Mason jr

Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images, Courtesy of Recording Academy 


Looking Forward To 2023: Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. On Rebuilding, Laying The Groundwork & Paving The Road Ahead

With Final Round GRAMMY Voting coming to a close, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. is looking forward to the GRAMMYs' return to L.A., making the Academy even more diverse and equitable, and building reach-for-the-sky initiatives in 2023 and beyond.

Recording Academy/Jan 4, 2023 - 01:05 am

At the top of 2022, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. told the world it was a "new day" at the Recording Academy. Now surveying the organization at the dawn of 2023, it's clear he wasn't joking.

Last June, the Recording Academy announced five new GRAMMY categories to be debuted at the 2023 GRAMMYs and awarded onward: Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical; Best Alternative Music Performance; Best Americana Performance; Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games And Other Interactive Media; and Best Spoken Word Poetry Album. Additionally, a highly anticipated Special Merit Award for Best Song For Social Change was added, along with various category amendments and procedural updates.

Elsewhere, the Recording Academy continued its wider mission to create a more inclusive and equitable music industry, starting with major developments from within. 

Last September, the Academy further diversified our membership body with the inauguration of the 2022 New Member Class. Of the nearly 2,000 newest Recording Academy members, 44 percent are from traditionally underrepresented communities; 47 percent are under the age of 40; 32 percent are women; and 52 percent are male; the remaining 16 percent are composed of individuals who identify as non-binary and those who opted not to disclose. The 2022 New Member Class, our most diverse class to date, further helped the Academy reach our goal of adding 2,500 women voting members by 2025; having added 1,913 women to its voting membership since 2019, we are now 77 percent of the way to reaching this goal.

The Academy's commitment to cultivating a community that embodies the ethnicities, genres and crafts that power the music industry is also reflected in the nominees at the 2023 GRAMMYs: more than half of the songs nominated for Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year are by solo female artists; half of the albums nominated for Album Of The Year are by solo female artists; and nearly half of this year's leading nominees are women and more than half are people of color.

For Mason jr., these significant developments perfectly reflect the great year of continued change the Recording Academy experienced in 2022, a notable evolution he promises to progress this year and onward.

"Last year, we made a lot of progress. We've implemented a lot of change," he says in an exclusive interview. "It was a year of rebuilding, investing and laying groundwork for the road ahead.

"2022 was a great setup year," he continues. "It got us to a point where we're in a better position, and now we can really start to do some of the important work that I know the Academy can do.”

Mason jr. also had some personally transformative experiences last year, including a trip to Africa, which he describes as, "Mind-bending. Game-changing. Eye-opening." 

"Being in Africa was a profound learning trip. It was an opportunity to listen, see and interact — a chance to meet and talk to artists from that region," he reflects. "It also helped me learn how the Academy can be involved there and globally. How can we be helpful? How can we make sure that we're furthering our mission in music — not just in the U.S., but around the world?

With the 2023 GRAMMYs right around the corner, Mason jr. opened up for an in-depth interview in which he reflected on seismic shifts in the Recording Academy and mapped out the road ahead in the ongoing fight for all music people.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Final Round GRAMMY Voting is underway, and nearly 17,000 eligible entries were submitted for GRAMMY consideration for the 2023 GRAMMYs. All in all, more than 11,000 Recording Academy members voted during the GRAMMY Awards process. What would you like to communicate to members involved in this vital and precious process regarding the power of their vote?

I would say, very simply, that the reason the GRAMMY is what it is — which, I believe, is the most prestigious music award you can win as a creator — is precisely because it's determined by the voting body of your peers. 

Voting is important because in order to maintain the importance and significance of the GRAMMY, and what it can do for someone's career, or music, or for the genre, we have to make sure that the voting body is voting with intent and is well-informed; that way the GRAMMY remains relevant, and we can honor the deserving people, records and projects every year.

For us, everything comes down to voting. Voting determines the GRAMMY nominations, the nominations impact the GRAMMY winners, the GRAMMY winners impact the show. 

And the show ultimately allows us to do all the really important work we do year-round on an ongoing annual basis: supporting music people. That's MusiCares. That's education via the GRAMMY Museum and GRAMMY U. That's Advocacy in Washington, D.C. All that ultimately relies on members voting.

Read More: Everything You Need To Know About The 2023 GRAMMYs & GRAMMY Nominations: How To Watch, How Voting Works & More

Let's go through some of the new GRAMMY categories and developments being introduced at the 2023 GRAMMYs. What can you say about the magnitude of the new Best Spoken Word Poetry Album category?

I think the category is going to be really important this year. Bifurcating the Spoken Word Field into two categories, along with Best Audio Book, Narration, and Storytelling Recording, is going to make a big difference for us.

We heard from that group of people, who said they weren't being recognized nor accurately evaluated and nominated. Now, from the looks of these nominations, it's been a sea change for us. Whereas before, artists and poets were competing with books on tape and other narration. 

Now, it's purely spoken word; that's really exciting.

How about the expansion of the Best New Age Album category into Best New Age, Ambient Or Chant?

A lot of the time, with categories like this, we really needed to hear from the community and people who are working in that genre and space. These last two years, we've been really intent on listening and learning. 

So, when a group of creators comes to us and says something needs to be changed or altered in their category — whether it's a name change, definition change, or sometimes an all-new category — we listen. 

This is one of those cases: the New Age Field needed some attention. We heard from them, and I think we made a good refinement.

How about the added Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games And Other Interactive Media GRAMMY category?

This award is exciting because it points us toward the future, to some degree. There's so much music being created in the gaming space, and again, it's a community of creators that wasn't being fairly or accurately represented by the Academy.

Having their own category gives us a chance to really get a good number of submissions in, and also gives our voters an opportunity to listen to that music through the lens of peer-voted submissions specifically in that category instead of a video game score coming across in another category.

There's intention around that style and genre of music. It's a forward-looking category. We now have a community being created around that space, so we're really proud of this development.

The new Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical GRAMMY category is a monumental development for the songwriter community.

The underpinning of what we do as an Academy is built on songs. I started out as a songwriter myself, so the idea of honoring someone who is truly a professional songwriter and craftsperson is special. 

This award celebrates the songwriting aspect of the music industry, as opposed to artists who write some of their own songs. There was some back-and-forth on what was the fairest and best way to honor this community. As it stands now, we're really pleased with the way we set it up. The inaugural nominees are writing songs for other artists, and I think it's a chance for us to celebrate true songwriters, one of the main pillars of our industry.

This year, the Recording Academy is introducing a new Special Merit Award for Best Song For Social Change. What's notable about this development?

This Special Merit Award, which honors a song based on the impact and ability to make a difference in the world, is something that is a first for the Academy, and something I think we're all excited about and proud of. 

This is one of the purposes of music: to make a difference in the world. And a social change impact award for a song highlights those songs, or that one song, that has a massive impact. 

I don't want anybody to misconstrue this award as something that's just singling out one song of impact or importance. Because we know every year, there are a lot of songs that have so much value and impact. But this is a chance for us to celebrate a short list of songs, and ultimately one song, that we feel has made a big impact.

You went to Africa last year. What inspired this excursion, and what did you learn from your trip?

I would describe my trip to Africa as: Mind-bending. Game-changing. Eye-opening. There's so much music, so much creativity over there. Africa is the birthplace of, well, everything, but definitely music. It was a chance to learn about the history, heritage and beginnings of music and rhythm and dance and singing.

Also, given what's happening there today, it was a chance to hear from the people who are really having a huge impact on a genre that's on the rise around the world. Afrobeats and other genres from that region are definitely making their way into the international consciousness.

Things are so different now. Ten years ago, or even a few years ago, before streaming, an artist would release a song in Africa and we wouldn't necessarily know about it in America. It wouldn't travel so quickly from country to country, or continent to continent. Now, with streaming, somebody in any country in the world can release music, and we're listening to it in America. 

If we're going to be an Academy that's evaluating and celebrating and uplifting music, I think it's incumbent on us to understand all the different genres. As I said, we're not all going to be experts. But we have to acknowledge them. We have to be aware that things are happening. We have to see around the corner.

For us as an Academy, we always want to be aware of the trends — what's happening now and what's coming next — so we can stay plugged into today's music scene and global music community and continue to honor the music that's being made around the world. 

So for me, being in Africa was a profound learning trip. It was an opportunity to listen, see and interact — a chance to meet and talk to artists from that region. It also helped me learn how the Academy can be involved there and globally. How we can be helpful. Really, how do we make sure that we're furthering our mission in music — not just in the U.S., but around the world.

Read More: Your Vote, Your Voice: 6 Reasons Why Your GRAMMY Vote Matters

One of the driving themes for the Recording Academy is diversity. In 2022, nearly 2,000 music industry professionals and creatives joined the Recording Academy as members, with a significant percentage of that new class coming from traditionally underrepresented and gender-diverse communities. How does this reflect the Recording Academy's wider mission to create an inclusive and equitable music industry?

I think it directly correlates with our forward-looking mission, and that's to be more reflective, more accurate, more representative of the music ecosystem. As we know, the biggest percentage of music consumed is Black music. Also, achieving more gender equity is important. We know that there are so many important, influential creatives who are women. So, making sure our membership reflects that is really important to me and important to everyone at the Academy.

We have some very specific goals for what we want to accomplish with our membership in regards to diversity — for race diversity, but also gender diversity, regional diversity, genre diversity … There are a lot of goals for our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion group that we want to make sure we get right.

And it's in our Membership. It's in our Awards. It's in our staff. It's in our boards. It's in our committees. It's smart practice to be doing things in a more diverse way. I know the outcomes are better. We get better information; we get better collaboration. We get more nuanced and deeper thoughts about things, and we see things from different angles. Music is one of the most diverse endeavors in the world, and I think we have to represent that across the Recording Academy and the music industry at-large.

Read More: Meet Some Of The Music Industry Leaders Who Just Joined The Recording Academy's 2022 New Member Class

harvey mason jr headshot

Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. | Photo: Michael Kovac

The 2023 GRAMMYs are right around the corner. This year, the show returns to its home base at the Crypto.com Arena, formerly the Staples Center, in Los Angeles. What are you most excited about for the upcoming GRAMMYs?

I'm excited about being in L.A. I'm excited about having a full audience again. I'm excited about all the incredible music that we're celebrating this year. I'm looking forward to coming together to celebrate. 

I look forward to the creative industry and the music industry coming together to celebrate each other and lift each other up. To shine a light on excellence and greatness and talk about the things we all have in common. To tell our stories and let the world see the great music that was created this year.

GRAMMY Week, which takes place across L.A. in the days before GRAMMY night, is a fun time to celebrate music and celebrate each other. I think you see the full power of music during GRAMMY week, maybe more so than at any other time. 

But the idea of music bringing about change — music being for good, music creating a better world — these are all big, overarching concepts. Those are the things I'm most excited about seeing. 

Last June, you celebrated your first anniversary as CEO of the Recording Academy. Any words or reflections about the Recording Academy’s accomplishments last year?

Last year, we made a lot of progress. We've implemented a lot of change. It was a year of rebuilding, investing and laying groundwork for the road ahead. 

I believe we still have a lot of work to do, so I don't, by any means, think 2022 was the be-all, end-all. 2022 was a great setup year. It got us to a point where we're in a better position, and now we can really start to do some of the important work that I know the Academy can do.

In my role as CEO of the Recording Academy, it's the coolest job in the world. I grew up as a creator — as a songwriter and producer. I continue to write and produce. So, I feel like I'm of the community that we serve. 

You've heard me say it before, but the music community is so important to evolving our society and changing the world. The privilege to serve the music community is an honor and makes me very excited every day to wake up and do the work. 

What are you most looking forward to regarding the Recording Academy's growth and evolution in 2023 and beyond?

I'm really looking forward to celebrating more music, and more types of music from different places around the world. I'm really looking forward to serving more music people, in more ways.

I'm excited about the ongoing evolution of where we go as an Academy and continuing to build on new ideas so that we can accomplish all of our goals while creating new goals along the way. I'm excited about, obviously, the GRAMMYs show, and getting back to the other 364 days of the year when we're giving back to the music community that we serve and support each and every day.

2023 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Complete Nominees List

How The HBCU Love Tour Inspires Young Black Students To Prosper In The Music Industry
(L-R): Harvey Mason jr., Precious Jewel, Rico Love, Valeisha Butterfield Jones

Photo Courtesy of the Recording Academy


How The HBCU Love Tour Inspires Young Black Students To Prosper In The Music Industry

Presented by the Recording Academy's GRAMMY U and Black Music Collective, the inaugural HBCU Love Tour motivates students to learn more about the Academy's aims and stake their claims in the music business.

Recording Academy/Oct 8, 2022 - 02:19 am

On a vivacious afternoon back in April, the energy was positively crackling inside the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C. From the first minute opening the event to the last seconds of the night, the energy level at the inaugural HBCU Love Tour event was enough to shatter the Richter scale. That's because the HBCU family from across the DMV came ready to learn from today's music industry's leaders.

The HBCU Love Tour, a joint initiative presented by the Recording Academy's GRAMMY U and the Black Music Collective, is a new program aimed at teaching young students and aspiring professionals attending an HBCU, short for historically Black college or university, about the music business and invite them to join GRAMMY U, the Recording Academy's membership program for college students. An entryway into the music industry, the HBCU Love Tour aims to open doors for young, gifted and Black students looking to make their mark in music and entertainment culture.

First, a little background for those who haven't been to the nation's capital. Howard Theatre is a historic spot dating back to 1910; it hosted many Black musical geniuses of the 20th century, from Sarah Vaughan to James Brown to Dionne Warwick. It's also near Howard University, where the majority of the HBCU Love Tour attendees are enrolled. Need proof? Every mention of "H.U." resulted in the saying's remainder, roared back by the audience: "You know!"

The launch of the HBCU Love Tour was a smashing success — you could feel the good vibes. Throughout the event, the throng of attendees, mostly college students, showed a palpable eagerness to learn the ropes of the music business, willing to engage with their entire hearts and minds and absorb that passed-down wisdom.

From Howard students and GRAMMY U affiliates Nia Burnley and Rainee Wilson to the Recording Academy's Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Ryan Butler, everyone brought something to the table. (To say nothing of Precious Jewel, the first-ever HBCU Love Contest Winner and one of Howard University's own, who led off the night with a spellbinding performance.)

And throughout a long chat between recent 2022 GRAMMYs On The Hill honorees Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis  — as well as appearances by Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr.; Chair on the Board of Trustees of the Recording Academy Tammy Hurt; and others — the crowd alternated between silent fascination and visceral enthusiasm.

Read More: "Black Music Saved The World": How The Recording Academy Honors Presented By The Black Music Collective Celebrated Positive Change For The Culture & Community

But a big reason the HBCU Love Tour was so special was due to its radiant host: Rico Love, Vice Chair on the Board of Trustees of the Recording Academy and a two-time GRAMMY nominee.

Even while in conversation with a guest, Love wasn't afraid to break the fourth wall and address the crowd directly — the sign of an excellent moderator — whether he was extolling the virtues of MusiCares ("When you say, 'Forget the GRAMMYs,' you're saying, 'Forget all those people who need help!'") or Advocacy ("Unbeknownst to a lot of people, they're fighting for songwriters' rights!").

Love understands how the Recording Academy and its various initiatives can transform the lives of all music people and creators, including young, aspiring students. "Today was my first day on Capitol Hill doing Advocacy work, and I felt powerful," he said of his work at the 2022 GRAMMYs On The Hill earlier that week.

And in a panel between singer/songwriter Raheem DeVaughn, rapper Cordae and singer/songwriter Kacey Williams, moderated by Love, the realities of struggling in the music business in a pandemic age were laid bare — as well as ways to help ameliorate them.

"I think it's about understanding your worth," Williams, who fronts the band Black Alley, said, succintly summing up the entire theme of the event. "In order to be considered successful in a business, you need to understand what your business is worth."

Of course, songwriters, producers and other music creators hold their craft in high esteem — why else devote their lives to music? However, much of the world hasn't caught up, and it won't without a whole lot of passionate change.

The sheer number of mental seeds planted at the inaugural HBCU Love Tour that night — for a new generation of music people and creators set to lead the industry into the future — is more than enough to engender hope and ignite change.

So, let's keep that blessed feeling of the first-ever HBCU Love Tour in our back pockets as we continue to celebrate and support music and all its professionals and creatives. Whether they consciously know it or not, these students intuitively grasp what they're worth — and the world's about to find out.

Next Up: The HBCU Love Tour heads to Atlanta

Student Showcase
Vinyl at Center Stage
Sunday, Oct. 9, at 4 p.m. ET

Panel: Demystifying the GRAMMY Awards with J.I.D, Baby Tate, and Rico Love
GRAMMY U Masterclass with Armani White presented by Mastercard
Ray Charles Performing Arts Center
Monday, Oct. 10., at 4 p.m. ET

GRAMMY U members and students at Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Georgia State University, and Spelman College are invited to attend. RSVP here.

Meet Some Of The Music Industry Leaders Who Just Joined The Recording Academy's 2022 New Member Class

The Recording Academy's Black Music Collective Welcomes New Honorary Chairs And Leadership Council: Mickey Guyton, Jimmie Allen, Yolanda Adams, Yola & Many More
The Recording Academy's Black Music Collective

Graphic: The Recording Academy


The Recording Academy's Black Music Collective Welcomes New Honorary Chairs And Leadership Council: Mickey Guyton, Jimmie Allen, Yolanda Adams, Yola & Many More

The Recording Academy's Black Music Collective welcomes its new and returning Honorary Chairs and Leadership Council, who are committed to amplifying and advancing Black music creators and professionals within the Academy and music industry at-large.

Recording Academy/Sep 16, 2022 - 01:00 pm

Include. Advance. Uplift. The Recording Academy's Black Music Collective (BMC) today announced the addition of new music creators and professionals to its esteemed Honorary Chairs and Leadership Council. These members — which include both new and returning Honorary Chairs, like Quincy Jones, John Legend, Yolanda Adams, and Ethiopia Habtemariam, and Leadership Council representatives, like H.E.R., Brianna Agyemang, D-Nice, and Terri Lyne Carrington — will continue the BMC's commitment to supporting and elevating Black artists, creators and music professionals.

The full list of the Black Music Collective's new and returning Honorary Chairs and Leadership Council members is included below.

The new and returning Honorary Chairs and Leadership Council members will work hand in hand with the Recording Academy's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team and BMC leads, Ryan Butler and Ricky Lyon, to elevate the mission of the BMC. As well, Recording Academy's Board of Trustees Vice Chair Rico Love steps in as the new BMC Chair.

"The Black Music Collective has remained steadfast in its mission to advance Black music since its founding in 2020. We are thrilled to have inaugural members of the BMC returning and honored to have an esteemed community of new industry leaders joining us to accelerate progress," Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. said. "Black music is an integral part of all music, and we are committed to the long-term work required to drive real and measurable change."

Established in 2020, the BMC has thrived and grown ever since. Its industry-leading, trailblazing events, initiatives and collaborations have supported Black musicians and professionals across all genres, industries and backgrounds. The BMC's annual "Your Future Is Now" scholarship program, launched in February 2021 in partnership with Amazon Music, and the launch of the HBCU Love Tour, created in partnership with GRAMMY U, have supported students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) who represent the next generation of music industry leaders. The first-ever Recording Academy Honors Presented By The Black Music Collective event, an official GRAMMY Week 2022 event launched in April ahead of the 2022 GRAMMYs, honored John Legend with the inaugural Recording Academy Global Impact Award and celebrated D-Nice, Love Renaissance, MC Lyte, and BMC Leadership Council member Riggs Morales.

"There have been moments where I knew I had to be the one young girls saw pick up a guitar, or advocate for the right to be creatively free, to stand for myself. They needed to see a dark-skinned, plus-size woman do that, so this moment feels like a deepening of my mission for representation for all of that. For this and so many more reasons, I'm so profoundly honored to join the Black Music Collective Leadership Council," singer/songwriter, musician and actress Yola said. 

The Black Music Collective's Honorary Chairs and Leadership Council:



  • Jeff Harleston

  • Jimmy Jam

  • Quincy Jones

  • John Legend


  • Yolanda Adams

  • Valeisha Butterfield Jones

  • Ethiopia Habtemariam

  • Yvette Noel-Schure



  • Brianna Agyemang

  • Tunde Balogun

  • Tuma Basa

  • Catherine Brewton

  • Binta Niambi Brown

  • Terri Lyne Carrington

  • D-Nice

  • Phylicia Fant

  • H.E.R.

  • Jeriel Johnson

  • Om'Mas Keith

  • Rico Love, Chair

  • Heather Lowery

  • MixedByAli

  • Riggs Morales

  • Steve Pamon

  • Tayla Parx

  • Ryan Press

  • Rashad Robinson

  • Jamila Thomas


  • Prince Charles Alexander

  • Jimmie Allen

  • Denzel Baptiste & David Biral (Take A Daytrip)

  • Jennifer Goicoechea

  • Mickey Guyton

  • Claudine Joseph

  • Ledisi

  • Herb Trawick

  • Ebonie Ward

  • Yola

Stay up to date on the BMC's progress and follow the BMC on Instagram.

How The Recording Academy's 2022 New Membership Class Reflects Its Ongoing Commitment To Diversity, Equity & Inclusion