Photo: Paul Morigi/WireImage
Neil Portnow, Yolanda Adams & P.J. Morton
Inside The 2019 GRAMMYs On The Hill Awards Celebration
Music and politics came together on the eve of Capitol Hill's largest policy event for music to celebrate champions of music creators' rights from both worlds
Hot on the heels of the successful passage of the Music Modernization Act in October 2018, the 2019 GRAMMYs on the Hill gala event celebrated an industry now looking to provide quality educational opportunities for young artists, as well as the artists of the past and present highlighting their stellar advocates in the halls of Congress. Ultimately, the underscored the truly good, decent and humane benefits that can blossom when music and politics unite to ensure a sustainable future for all music creators.
Washington, D.C.’s The Hamilton hosted the event, which honored singer/songwriter/actress Kristin Chenoweth and gospel icon Yolanda Adams. As well, two congressional honorees—Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), the Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus—were feted. Though Senator Grassley was unable to attend, he was more than ably replaced by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the Speaker of the House, who noted the “tireless advocacy work of artists like Adams and Chenoweth for the aid of America’s music professionals,” was, “greatly appreciated by their many friends on Capitol Hill.”
Chenoweth, a stalwart musical icon whose talents span musical theater, film, and television, was honored with the GRAMMYs on the Hill Philanthropist Award. Regarding her Kristin Chenoweth Art and Education Fund, the diminutive in stature yet mightily voiced performer noted that she would rather show than discuss the impact of her Art and Education Fund. Pairing with Cassandra Haight, a student from Washington, D.C.’s Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts, she performed “For Good,” her duet from the soundtrack of legendary Broadway musical Wicked.
Incredibly honored and grateful to have received such a beautiful recognition at #GRAMMYsOnTheHill last night. Thank you to @SpeakerPelosi for presenting me with the Philanthropist Award from the @RecordingAcad @GRAMMYAdvocacy pic.twitter.com/4bPrZjlImw— Kristin Chenoweth (@KChenoweth) April 10, 2019
Insofar as being the man responsible for being the first (and only) person to quote Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy” on the floor of the House of Representatives (during a 2017 discussion on Affordable Care Act), Hakeem Jeffries is already a groundbreaker. Regarding the passage of the MMA, he noted a promising message of bipartisanship and unity as it related to how Congress regarded the industry. “We came together as Republicans and Democrats, the left and the right because music is such a universal language. [Music] captures the soundtrack of our life including love, loss, and a life well lived. People put aside their partisan differences to do what’s right for artists, songwriters, and creatives.”
Adams, was gracious in being honored with the Recording Academy's Creators Leadership Award, and the GRAMMY-winning gospel icon also delivered a memorable performance. The President of the Recording Academy Texas Chapter, her strong advocacy work for preserving the health and financial sustainability of her fellow artists and songwriters via Academy charity MusiCares, was highlighted.
As always, this year’s “only at the GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards” moment did not fail to entertain. GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Linda Perry played a stirring acoustic guitar rendition of a song she penned, Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful," which won the GRAMMY for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2004. Perry then launched into a feel-good rendition of her own—via her former group 4 Non Blondes—1991 hit “What’s Up” alongside a stage filled with performance luminaries including Gavin DeGraw, and 20 members of Congress as a backing choir and band.
I’m in Washington DC for #GRAMMYsOnTheHill. And on this stage is a bunch of congress, @GavinDeGraw and @LZZYHALE oh and @SpeakerPelosi watching from the audience .. @GRAMMYAdvocacy pic.twitter.com/VC3Uad21qN— LINDA PERRY (@RealLindaPerry) April 10, 2019
“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else,” outgoing CEO of the Recording Academy, Neil Portnow paraphrased Mister Rogers, at the open of his remarks. Capping his 17 years in the position with the passage of the Music Modernization Act (MMA) is unquestionably a highlight.
"The passage of the MMA is a monumental success, not only for music creators but for music people everywhere," said Portnow. "Progress begins with unity. From creators to elected leaders, our Recording Academy staff, and our partner organizations throughout the industry, have demonstrated altruistic harmony.”
He also noted that, “At the heart of Recording Academy members is a desire to give back. The Academy has deepened its commitment to its charities. Tonight’s beneficiary, The GRAMMY Museum, is our shared music cultural home.”
As the event bringing together the worlds of music and politics came to a close, everyone looked toward the following morning for GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day, where both lawmakers and music advocates are able to share perspectives looking ahead to the future of music policy. And as all of those on stage and in the audience experienced on this lively night in the Nation's Capitol, music has the power to bring us together.
Graphic Courtesy of the Recording Academy
4 Ways To Maximize Your Recording Academy Membership
Here is a thorough guide to the primary ways all Recording Academy members can use their platform, maximize their membership, and get involved with the Academy's various divisions and initiatives.
If you're reading this, chances are you've decided to become a member of the Recording Academy. You are to be commended for this decision!
As part of the world's leading society of music people, you are in a unique position to make your voice heard — and effect change that not only manifests during the GRAMMYs show, but ripples throughout the music industry and world at large.
As such, becoming a member is merely the first step: it's time to use your platform to the fullest and get involved with the Academy's various divisions and initiatives. Below is a handy guide to the primary ways you can maximize your Recording Academy membership.
Fight For Music Creator's Rights
One of the most crucial divisions of the Recording Academy is Advocacy, which fights to protect the rights of music makers and advance their interests in the realms of /ocal, state and federal policy.
Additionally, Advocacy works to educate the public about key legislation and policy issues that affect everyone in the music community.
As an Academy member, you can get involved with Advocacy in a number of ways. One is by familiarizing yourself with GRAMMYs On The Hill, a two-day event consisting of the GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards and subsequent Advocacy Day.
Over the course of these events, music creators come together with Members of Congress to celebrate those who have been exceptional in their support of creator's rights and to advocate for the passage of legislation that will further improve those rights.
Another important component of Advocacy is District Advocate, the largest grassroots advocacy movement for music and its makers.
This manifests every year in District Advocate Day, where Recording Academy members across the U.S. met virtually with their Senators and Congressional Representatives to fight for change for the music community.
Other facets of Advocacy to get acquainted with include the GRAMMY Fund For Music Creators and the quarterly advocacy newsletter and annual magazine. Furthermore, click here for a helpful landing page that features practical routes to support Advocacy initiatives.
Support The Next Generation of Music
The GRAMMY Museum's education initiatives aim to keep music in our schools and introduce music as a profession to young people.
Here are four ways they do this:
The GRAMMY Museum's K-12 educational outreach and funding efforts ensure the future of music is only as strong as the next generation of creators. Last year alone, the Museum reached more than 700,000+ students through their free virtual education programming by way of GRAMMY Museum At Home and online streaming service, COLLECTION:live.
Their many public programs range from panels on the state of the music industry to intimate performances.
The Museum's Los Angeles location offers a variety of interactive and educational experiences that provide insights into artists who have shaped music history — as well as the creative process itself.
Re:live Music Moments on COLLECTION:live, the official streaming service from the GRAMMY Museum featuring artist interviews, performances, and livestreams.
Support Music Makers
As a freshly minted member of the Recording Academy, you can help spread awareness of resources that aid all music makers in need.
Founded by the Recording Academy in 1989, MusiCares is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to supporting the health and welfare of the music community through preventative care, crisis relief and recovery support.
Here are just some of the ways MusiCares is here to support you and your peers in the music community:
Mental Health & Addiction Recovery Services
Support, referrals, and emergency financial assistance for counseling, psychiatric care, inpatient treatment, coaching, intensive outpatient care, group therapy, sober living and more.
Financial assistance during medical crises and preventive services such as dental and medical screenings, hearing clinics, vocal health workshops, and assistance obtaining low-cost health insurance.
MusiCares provides humanitarian disaster relief, and emergency financial assistance for basic living expenses like rent, utilities, car payments and insurance premiums.
They can also assist with funeral costs, or instrument replacement/repair if stolen or damaged in a natural disaster — excluding wear and tear.
The human services team also offers preventive programs addressing financial literacy, affordable housing, career development, legal issues, and senior services.
Support The Academy's Future & Evolution
As a member, you have the ability to make big moves at the Academy by:
Recommending fellow music peers to become members
Submitting projects for GRAMMY Awards consideration
Proposing amendments to GRAMMY Awards rules
Voting in the GRAMMY Awards process (if you're a voting member; key dates here)
Getting involved in the Academy's DEI efforts
Running for a Recording Academy board and/or participating on advisory committees
Joining local chapters and voting in chapter elections
Participating in members-only programs
Supporting the Producers & Engineers (P&E) and Songwriters & Composers (S&C) wings
Additionally, you can become eligible to purchase GRAMMYs tickets and join the Latin Recording Academy as a dual member.
The Recording Academy is thrilled to have you as a member — whether you've already joined, or plan to join in the future! Watch this space for further news about Recording Academy membership and all other goings-on with the world's leading society of music people.
Image courtesy of the Recording Academy
The Online Entry Process For The 2024 GRAMMYs Explained: How To Submit, Upcoming Deadlines & Webinars, GRAMMY Nominations & Voting Process, And More
With the 2024 GRAMMYs season now in full effect, the Recording Academy has produced a helpful, detailed guide to the Online Entry Process for those looking to submit their music and works for GRAMMY consideration at the 66th GRAMMY Awards.
Updated Sunday, July 23, to add the video tutorial of the Online Entry Process for the 2024 GRAMMYs.
As recently announced, the 2024 GRAMMYs are returning to the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 4. But before the music industry celebrates Music’s Biggest Night, artists, creators, and the whole music biz will begin the journey to next year's GRAMMY Awards with the Recording Academy’s Online Entry Process (OEP), the annual window in which all recordings, videos, and more are submitted to be included on the GRAMMY ballot.
As the Online Entry Process for the 2024 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 66th GRAMMY Awards, opens today (Monday, July 17), the Recording Academy has produced a helpful guide explaining the process and upcoming deadlines.
For those looking to submit their music and works for GRAMMY consideration at the upcoming 2024 GRAMMYs, read our detailed explainer in full below.
What is the Online Entry Process and how does it work?
Marking the first step toward participating in the GRAMMY Awards Process every year, the annual Online Entry Process is the period when registered Media Companies and Recording Academy Members (Voting and Professional) can submit music and works for GRAMMY consideration at the GRAMMY Awards.
While the total amount of entries varies each year, the Recording Academy can receive as many as 20,000 entries during a GRAMMY season. Once we receive submissions, each entry is individually vetted by a member of the Recording Academy’s Awards staff to determine eligibility.
After submissions are received during the Online Entry Process, the Recording Academy's voting membership votes on said submissions across two rounds: First Round Voting determines the nominees for the majority of the 94 categories at the annual GRAMMY Awards, while Final Round Voting determines the ultimate GRAMMY winners.
Who can submit entries during the Online Entry Process?
Only registered Media Companies and Recording Academy Members (Voting and Professional) can make submissions for GRAMMY consideration through the Online Entry Process. The Recording Academy defines a media company as a legitimate business entity whose core business function is to create, aggregate and promote audio and/or video content for multiple artists for commercial purposes, and that must have verifiable product in national U.S. commercial distribution on our approved streaming platforms within the current eligibility period. It cannot just be an imprint in name only for a single or small number of artists.
When does Media Company registration open?
Media Company Registration will open Monday, July 10, at 9 a.m. PT/noon ET and will close on Thursday, Aug. 24, 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET.
Existing or new Media Companies may register here. Media Companies will receive further information by email pending registration approval. Reference the Online Entry Process Timetable for more information.
When does the Online Entry Process open?
The Online Entry Process for the 2024 GRAMMYs opens Monday, July 17, 2023, at 9 a.m. PT/noon ET and closes Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023, at 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET.
Media Companies can access the Online Entry Process website. Online Entry Process will be available at the top of their dashboards upon login.to the Online Entry Process will be available at the top of their dashboards upon login.
IMPORTANT: There is only one round in which to make entries during the Online Entry Process. We encourage everyone to submit their entries as early as possible so that the Recording Academy’s Awards team can assist with any questions in a timely manner.
What is the eligibility period for submissions for the 2024 GRAMMYs?
The eligibility period for the 2024 GRAMMYs is for recordings released Oct. 1, 2022, through Sept. 15, 2023. All eligible awards entries must be released within this timeframe.
Only recordings that are commercially released in the United States are eligible for consideration. Please note that credits submitted at the time of entry are considered final and determine which credited individuals are eligible for GRAMMY statuettes or certificates.
Who can vote for the 2024 GRAMMYs?
Each year, the GRAMMY Award is voted on by the Recording Academy's voting membership, which is composed of music creators, including artists, producers, songwriters, and engineers. Registered Companies are not permitted to vote in the GRAMMY Awards Process.
Upcoming Informational Webinars & Social Media Panels
To provide further education on the Online Entry Process, the Recording Academy has produced a helpful, step-by-step walkthrough video of the Online Entry Process for the 2024 GRAMMYs. The video gives a complete overview of the Online Entry Process, provides step-by-step instructions, addresses frequently asked questions, and offers an inside look at what the Online Entry Process website looks like. Plus, the video includes a Q&A with the Recording Academy Awards team.
The Recording Academy will host an upcoming webinar, happening during the inaugural New Member Welcome Week, on Thursday, August 24, at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET live on Zoom. This webinar will help guide new Recording Academy members through the GRAMMY Awards full-cycle journey and ensure they are prepared for the Online Entry Process. Register for the webinar now.
The Recording Academy will also host a series of online conversations on Instagram Live and Twitter Spaces. Hosted by a Recording Academy Awards staff, each session will focus on a specific genre and will feature multiple Academy members, who will discuss the Online Entry Process. See the full schedule of online conversations below:
General Online Entry Process Panel With The Recording Academy Awards Team
Date: Monday, July 17, at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET
Location: Watch live on the Recording Academy's Twitter page
Guests: Michael Almanza, Director – Awards
Lisa Goich-Andreadis, Director – Awards
Len Brown, Senior Project Manager – Awards
Julie Smith, Manager – Awards
Songwriter of the Year
Date: Monday, July 17, at 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET
Location: Watch live on the Recording Academy's Instagram page
Guests: Susan Stewart, Managing Director of the Recording Academy's Songwriters & Composers Wing
Evan Bogart, Chair of the Recording Academy's Songwriters & Composers Wing
Host: Sean Riley, Managing Director, Awards, the Recording Academy
Date: Tuesday, July 25, at 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET
Location: Watch live on the Recording Academy's Instagram page
Guests: Terri Lyne Carrington, four-time GRAMMY-winning drummer, composer, producer, and educator
Sara Gazarek, two-time GRAMMY-nominated jazz vocalist
John Beasley, two-time GRAMMY-winning pianist, composer and arranger
Host: Lisa Goich-Andreadis, Director, Awards, the Recording Academy
Date: Tuesday, Aug. 1, at 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET
Location: Watch live on the Recording Academy's Instagram page
Host: Shawn Thwaites, Project Manager, Awards, the Recording Academy
Date: Tuesday, Aug.15, at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET
Location: Watch live on the Recording Academy's Instagram page
Host: Jalyn Nelson, Project Manager, Awards, the Recording Academy
Date: Monday, August 28, at 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET
Location: Watch live on the Recording Academy's Instagram page
Host: Ralph Olivarez, Senior Manager, Awards, the Recording Academy
If you have any other questions regarding the 2024 GRAMMY Awards season, read our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section, view the official GRAMMY Awards Rules and Guidelines, and visit the GRAMMY Award Update Center for a list of real-time changes to the GRAMMY Awards process.
Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Urban One Honors
4 Ways Pharrell Williams Has Made An Impact: Supporting The Music Industry, Amplifying Social Issues & More
From advocacy and activism to music education and philanthropy, trailblazing superproducer Pharrell Williams uses his global reach to enact social change and inspire the masses — which is exactly why he's a 2023 GRAMMYs On The Hill honoree.
Thirteen-time GRAMMY winner Pharrell Williams understands how to wield his influence for the betterment of humanity. When he's not in the studio making award-winning music, the prolific multihyphenate spends his time supporting causes like education, sustainable fashion, conservation, and human rights, and leverages his platform to make change happen — creating a blueprint for merging passions with social causes.
The visionary's philanthropic reach is awe-inspiring. Since establishing his first non-profit, From One Hand to AnOTHER, in 2008 — a six-week summer camp that offers learning programs focused on science, technology and the arts to children from low-income families — Williams has given a host of communities access to resources, tools and life-changing opportunities. He's helped build an after-school center in his hometown of Virginia Beach, offered internships to students from Harlem, New York, and launched a non-profit initiative for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs on the heels of the 2020 racial justice protests.
Ultimately, the mega-producer wants to make the world a better place for future generations, which shines through in his dedication to education, climate action and equality. By taking action to tackle these big-picture issues, Williams is showing others in his position that it's possible to do what you love and make a difference in the world.
To mark Williams' efforts and their impacts, the multihyphenate will be honored alongside U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) at this year's GRAMMYs On The Hill in Washington D.C. The annual event spotlights congressional leaders and music makers who have worked together to raise awareness and pass legislation to help ensure fair pay and equal rights for creators.
Ahead of the event on April 26 and 27, take a look at four ways Williams has supported the music industry — and beyond.
He Advocates For The Protection Of Creators' Rights
Williams has made a concerted effort to negotiate with labels for control of his music, and he uses his platform to help fight for equality and equity for all artists. "I shouldn't be the only one with this preferred deal," Williams said to the head of Columbia Records after negotiating a deal to own his masters in 2015. "All artists should own their intellectual property — otherwise you're just working for someone else. It's really weird: They own the fields where you and God have laid the seeds; you do the harvesting, but they have the ownership."
Williams has consistently highlighted the importance of ownership in music, and his push to usher in new protections for artists extends to the virtual world. In 2021, the music mogul joined the advisory council of CXIP DAO, a decentralized organization that allows creators to protect their copyrights and manage their digital assets.
He Supports And Funds Arts & Music Education Programs
Williams got his musical start as a drummer in elementary school before taking band in middle school, where he met a similarly music-minded classmate named Chad Hugo, his future production partner in the Neptunes. Along with support from his grandmother, this educational experience shaped Williams into the innovator he is today, and encouraged him to center much of his philanthropy on the arts and education as a whole.
"I want all children to have access to that kind of creative growth, access, and support. All kids, not just my own," Pharrell told Billboard in 2019.
His actions have shown just that: In 2009, Williams' non-profit launched a Summer of Innovation camp in association with NASA. His foundation would go on to donate school supplies and offer free after-school programs and camps to kids from his hometown areas.
In 2018, the "Happy" singer partnered with American Express Platinum for The Yellow Ball, a fundraising event at the Brooklyn Museum to benefit Young Audiences Arts for Learning. Soon after, he joined forces with Verizon to launch a tech-forward music curriculum for underserved middle schools all over the country, which provides students with access to virtual reality, 3D printers and other emerging technology.
He Launched A Private School
Back in 2021, Williams took his education advocacy to the next level when he announced the launch of Yellowhab, a tuition-free private school for third to sixth graders from low-income families in his home state of Virginia. Always innovating, Williams's micro-school takes "a future-forward approach" to learning that includes using tech and other methods to immerse students in the educational process.
"If the system is fixed and unfair, then it needs to be broken," Williams said in a press release. "We don't want lockstep learning where so many kids fall behind; we want bespoke learning designed for each child, where the things that make a child different are the same things that will make a child rise up and take flight."
He Uses Fashion To Help Global Causes
The fashion influencer has created a number of clothing and accessory lines throughout his career, from the Billionaire Boys Club label to its many offshoots. He's partnered with high-profile brands to create collections that raise awareness and funding for socially conscious causes; in December 2022, his global lifestyle brand ICECREAM collabed with Mini USA for a capsule collection whose proceeds went to Polar Bears International, a non-profit that works to protect the endangered species.
But with eight million metric tons of plastic in the ocean, his sustainable denim collection with Bionic Yarns may be his most socially impactful. Over a two-year period, this collaboration converted an estimated seven million plastic bottles into clothing items.
"We are trying to infiltrate the entire spectrum of fashion, high-end and low. It's a part of sustainability and the cause is to never throw anything [plastics and trash] into the ocean again," Williams told Women's Wear Daily in 2014. "The ocean is just one part of the earth we're concentrating on, but the world is made up of 75 to 80 percent water. It's a huge place to start."
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.
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:
Valeisha Butterfield Jones
Binta Niambi Brown
Terri Lyne Carrington
Rico Love, Chair
Prince Charles Alexander
Denzel Baptiste & David Biral (Take A Daytrip)