Songwriters & Composers Wing: Celebrating Decades of Advocacy

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Photo: Paul Morigi/WireImage for the Recording Academy

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Songwriters & Composers Wing: Celebrating Decades of Advocacy

In honor of the launch of the Academy’s Songwriters & Composers Wing, let’s reflect on the decades of advocacy by these creators.

Advocacy/Mar 14, 2021 - 04:45 pm

Congratulations to songwriters and composers on the establishment of the Recording Academy’s Songwriters & Composers Wing!

For decades, these creatives have proven to be an instrumental part of the Academy’s advocacy work. Together, we have fought for fair market rate standards, the modernization of the mechanical royalty collection process, and, most recently, financial relief to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.  

At a town hall in Los Angeles in 2017, the Academy partnered with MoZella, Om’Mas Keith, and Rodney Jerkins to educate songwriters and composers on the importance of advocacy. Topics included the importance of using your voice to create change, fighting for fair compensation, and pushing elected officials to enact positive legislative reform, among others. These conversations resulted in the upcoming District Advocate day, where creators from all corners of the country held meetings with members of Congress to stress the importance of these issues. Read more about this event in Billboard’s article, “Recording Academy Urges Songwriter Activism to Ensure Music Industry’s Future.”

Songwriters and composers utilized the skills honed during past outreach to policymakers by advocating for the landmark Music Modernization Act (MMA). Once the legislation passed in 2018, songwriters and composers began to see their hard work materialize, which helped many creatives properly receive the funds they earned and established a new mechanical licensing collective. While the MMA made great progress, songwriters and composers continued to advocate for equitable implementation of the bill.

When proposed wording in the U.S. Copyright Office’s (USCO) MMA update had the potential to negatively impact the songwriters it was striving to help, the Academy, representing its songwriter and composer constituency, sent an ex parte letter asking for the USCO to amend any language that could be “construed in any way that changes, diminishes, or alters termination rights, or in any way that makes a substantive determination about the nature of those rights.” The letter’s goal was to ensure that the USCO did not create an additional burden on songwriters attempting to rightfully reclaim their work. 

The Recording Academy also assisted the USCO in designating the entity tasked with administering blanket mechanical licenses for digital streaming services, a key provision of the MMA. The Mechanical Licensing Collective, which started collecting and distributing royalties earlier this year, recently received $424 million in unmatched royalties from streaming services, which will then be distributed to songwriters for free. The Recording Academy hosted a webinar with MLC CEO Kris Ahrend and songwriter Tayla Parx last year to help explain the tremendous benefit of the collective for songwriters and composers.

From meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to actually writing songs with them, let’s take a look back at our years spent together fighting for the rights of songwriters and composers:

Above, the Honorable Doug Collins (Ga.) and songwriters Victoria Shaw and Gary Burr collaborate on a new anthem honoring the recently introduced Songwriter Equity Act, and performed the song at GRAMMYs On The Hill in 2014. Credit: Video by Recording Academy/Featured in Washington Post.

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The Recording Academy Announces Official GRAMMY Week 2021 Events

GRAMMY trophies at the 59th GRAMMY Awards in 2017

Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

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The Recording Academy Announces Official GRAMMY Week 2021 Events

The virtual events during GRAMMY Week 2021 aim to celebrate this year's nominees and the music that unites us

Recording Academy/Feb 26, 2021 - 02:00 am

The Recording Academy has announced the events lineup for GRAMMY Week 2021 ahead of the 63rd GRAMMY Awards broadcasting Sunday, March 14, on CBS at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. All events will be virtual this year to ensure the safety of our staff and guests and to make the events as accessible as possible to attendees. 

See the full GRAMMY Week 2021 lineup of confirmed events and additional details here and below:

MARCH 8

GRAMMY In The Schools Fest
This four-day virtual event, presented by MusicPower, will celebrate music and music education featuring performances by students and professionals along with engaging, educational panels by artists, educators and other music professionals and will conclude on March 11, 2021.

Free to the public for those who register in advance by clicking on this link

Women In The Mix
This event will recognize the contributions of women in music and amplify female voices across the industry. Highlighting producers, engineers, artists and executives, this program champions women who set the tone for their own communities and work to close gender gaps on and off the stage.

The virtual event will take place publicly on GRAMMY.com

MARCH 10

The Inaugural Black Music Collective GRAMMY Week Celebration
The historic event, presented by Mastercard, will feature an array of esteemed Black music creators and professionals known for amplifying Black voices in music and beyond.

The virtual event can be viewed on GRAMMY.com

MARCH 11

GRAMMY U Masterclass With Tayla Parx
Join us for a masterclass with GRAMMY nominee, Tayla Parx, as she discusses the craft of songwriting and being a multi-faceted artist. A singer, songwriter, actress, and entrepreneur, Tayla has penned tracks for Ariana Grande, Janelle Monáe and Anderson.Paak, in addition to her successful solo career as an artist. This program is in collaboration with the Recording Academy's Black Music Collective and Powered by Mastercard.

The virtual event can be viewed on the Recording Academy's Facebook channel.

Producers & Engineers Wing 20th Anniversary Celebration
This hour-long program will celebrate the 20-year milestone of the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing with highlights from the past two decades and a look into the future. 

This is a private event.

MARCH 12

23rd Annual Entertainment Law Initiative
The event will honor the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA) — a nationally recognized leader in legal education and professional development within the United States for lawyers and professionals in the entertainment, sports and related industries — with the 2021 Entertainment Law Initiative Service Award.

This is a private event.

MusiCares Music On A Mission
This virtual fundraiser will honor the resilience of the music community, which has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will celebrate top moments in MusiCares' history, including legendary performances from the MusiCares' vaults and new performances from today's biggest stars.

Tickets are available to the public for $25 and are on sale now on MusiCares.org.

MARCH 14

63rd GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony
Get ready for Music's Biggest Night by starting with Music's Biggest Day. The Premiere Ceremony will present more than 70 GRAMMY winners and feature a variety of exciting performances across genres. 

Watch the live stream exclusively on GRAMMY.com.

63rd GRAMMY Awards
The 63rd GRAMMY Awards will broadcast live on the CBS Television Network, Sunday, March 14, at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.

2021 GRAMMYs Awards Show: Complete Nominees List

The Recording Academy And IBM Debut New Fan Experience Powered By Watson And IBM Cloud Ahead Of The 2021 GRAMMY Awards Show

 

 

Photo Courtesy of IBM

 

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The Recording Academy And IBM Debut New Fan Experience Powered By Watson And IBM Cloud Ahead Of The 2021 GRAMMY Awards Show

Fan experiences include the launch of GRAMMY Debates with Watson, the first-ever AI-driven debates about the music industry, and the transition of GRAMMY.com workloads onto the IBM Cloud

Recording Academy/Mar 2, 2021 - 07:00 pm

The Recording Academy and IBM, the Academy's Official Cloud and AI partner, announced today the launch of GRAMMY Debates with Watson, a new digital fan experience powered by IBM Watson's Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities and cloud technologies. In addition to this new fan experience, the Recording Academy announced it is transitioning its consumer-facing online platform, GRAMMY Backstage, to a digital environment running on IBM Cloud that will seamlessly host the preshow, GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony, and additional show content. GRAMMY Debates with Watson and GRAMMY Backstage are now live on GRAMMY.com, and the experience will run through the 63rd GRAMMY Awards, taking place Sunday, March 14.

To view the GRAMMY Debates with Watson, visit GRAMMY.com/Watson from March 2-14.

IBM and the Recording Academy conducted several design-thinking workshops to design technology-driven fan experiences to engage and attract viewers and music fans. They developed an interactive experience that uses the IBM Cloud and IBM Watson to enhance the show's engagement experience. This is the fourth year that IBM has partnered with the Recording Academy to bring the power of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to the annual GRAMMY Awards.

GRAMMY Debates with Watson is a multi-week, AI-curated music debate experience available to fans around the world. The experience allows music fans to contribute their points of view to some of the most important music-related conversations today. Hosted on GRAMMY.com, fans can engage in debates related to the most groundbreaking artist or biggest style icon and add their pro or con arguments via the online portal. As an example, one debate topic is "Music education should be mandatory in all K-12 schools." IBM Watson will process the input and data from the debates and lead to "conclusions" that offer analysis on real-time submissions. 

The GRAMMY Debates with Watson solution taps into the strong pipeline of innovations coming to IBM Watson from IBM Research to advance AI for business. IBM's AI for business strategy is designed to help organizations predict, optimize and automate processes through advancements in NLP, automation and trust. NLP is key to interpreting the trends and insights hidden within enterprise data. GRAMMY Debates with Watson uses an innovation from the IBM Research Project Debater team – Key Point Analysis – that IBM plans to commercialize in IBM Watson NLP products such as Watson Discovery and Watson Natural Language Understanding. Key Point Analysis reviews fan input on the topics posed on GRAMMY.com to identify the most prevalent points and main topics of the submissions. Natural language generation technology is then used to create cohesive pro and con narratives on each of the topics. The solution will also analyze public posts from social networks, such as Twitter, to inform the debates. Using IBM Watson to analyze and synthesize natural language helps to scale the Recording Academy's editorial team's capabilities to produce more engaging experiences.

"The launch of GRAMMY Debates with Watson gives GRAMMY viewers an entirely new way to engage with fellow music lovers and be a part of the conversation. It's great to continue innovating our digital and fan experiences with IBM and to explore how AI and Cloud technology can be applied to make our awards show more interactive for viewers," Lisa Farris, Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer at the Recording Academy, said. "We're excited to bring IBM's expertise to the GRAMMY Awards, and the work we do to support music creators and celebrate Music's Biggest Night."

"Our work with the Recording Academy is another example of how we're applying IBM's cutting-edge technology to revolutionize the entertainment industry and bring clients innovative and compelling experiences for their key audiences," Noah Syken, Vice President of Sports & Entertainment Partnerships, IBM, said. "These are the same core technologies—hybrid cloud and AI—that we're using to drive digital transformation for clients around the world."

In addition to GRAMMY Debates with Watson, IBM announced the 63rd GRAMMY Awards day-of-show takeover on GRAMMY.com will be hosted for the first time entirely on the IBM Cloud. This is a part of the Recording Academy's journey to hybrid cloud, building modern, containerized applications on Red Hat OpenShift. IBM will power GRAMMY Backstage, as the digital experience is known, using a hybrid cloud approach enabled by Red Hat OpenShift, the industry's leading enterprise Kubernetes platform, with workloads running on multiple public and private clouds operating seamlessly. 

IBM will be migrating the digital environment that hosts the preshow, GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony,, and additional show content (articles, photo galleries, video highlights, etc.) to the IBM Cloud. GRAMMY Backstage will be seamlessly embedded into the GRAMMY.com homepage, and with the IBM Cloud will be able to securely scale the delivery of GRAMMY Backstage to the more than seven million fans worldwide who are anticipated to tune in.

Red Hat OpenShift and the IBM Cloud are the foundations of digital transformation at clients across industries.  The natural language processing capabilities found in GRAMMY Debates with Watson can also be found in Watson Assistant, the AI-based customer experience offering used by companies in industries including financial services, healthcare, retail, telecommunications and more. The work IBM is doing with the Recording Academy and other sports entities to engage fans during the pandemic parallels the innovative experiences and technology applications they bring to clients worldwide.

GRAMMY Debates with Watson builds on the 2019 launch of GRAMMY Insights with Watson, an innovative fan experience that applied AI technology to the Award's preshow. The online and broadcast experience provided key insights in real time about the artists on-screen during the GRAMMYs pre-show red carpet. The solution, which also leveraged NLP to mine and source insights, reached hundreds of thousands of live red carpet viewers on GRAMMY.com and created more than 1.6 million total instances of insights.

The 2021 GRAMMY Awards show will air on Sunday, March 14, at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on CBS.

GRAMMY Awards Radio Launches On Pandora Ahead Of The 2021 GRAMMYs Show

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GRAMMYs On The Hill Honorees Named

Legendary artist and producer Quincy Jones — 27-time GRAMMY winner and The Recording Academy's ambassador for its 50th Celebration — will headline a day of music advocacy as part of The Academy's GRAMMYs on The Hill activities in the nation's

Recording Academy/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

Quincy Jones, Sen. Ted Kennedy and Rep. Marsha Blackburn to be saluted

GRAMMY.com

Legendary artist and producer Quincy Jones — 27-time GRAMMY winner and The Recording Academy's ambassador for its 50th Celebration — will headline a day of music advocacy as part of The Academy's GRAMMYs on The Hill activities in the nation's capital on Sept. 5, it was announced today by The Recording Academy.

Events will include a unique afternoon jam session with GRAMMY-winning artist Keb' Mo' and members of Congress. Later that evening at an awards gala, Jones will be honored for his lifelong contributions to American music, and honorees Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) will be recognized for their legislative support of the arts and music creators.

Among the luminaries joining Keb' Mo' to salute the honorees will be four-time GRAMMY winner and Recording Academy Chair Jimmy Jam, Academy President Neil Portnow, nine-time GRAMMY winner Ray Benson (of Asleep At The Wheel), "Godfather of Go-Go" Chuck Brown, GRAMMY-winning songwriter Brett James ("Jesus Take The Wheel"), country superstar John Rich (of Big & Rich), four-time GRAMMY winner BeBe Winans and seven-time GRAMMY winner CeCe Winans.

"GRAMMYs on the Hill connects top music makers — from singers and songwriters to producers and engineers — with members of Congress in Washington to shed light on the effect music has in enriching our lives," said Portnow. "This year, as part of our 50th Celebration activities, we will highlight the importance of music preservation and education so that it continues to thrive in our culture for years to come."

Throughout the day, more than 120 music professionals from across the country will come to Washington to speak to legislators about promoting policies that improve the environment for music and its makers. Earlier in the day on Capitol Hill, the GRAMMY Foundation will showcase its programs with a special performance by Keb' Mo', who will jam with members of the Recording Arts and Sciences Congressional Caucus (the "Congressional GRAMMY Band" — a group of musician members of Congress who have informally jammed at previous Academy advocacy events) in the Cannon House Office Building Caucus Room on Capitol Hill.

That evening, GRAMMYs on the Hill will move to the ballroom of the Willard Inter-Continental Hotel for its 7th annual gala dinner where The Recording Academy will honor Jones, Sen. Kennedy and Rep. Blackburn. Chesnee High School of South Carolina will receive the GRAMMY Foundation's Signature School Award and Scholarship for its outstanding commitment to music education.

For more information, please click here and here.

 

The Recording Academy Reveals Leadership Council For Newly Launched Black Music Collective

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The Recording Academy Reveals Leadership Council For Newly Launched Black Music Collective

The distinguished leadership committee will work with honorary chairs to elevate Black music creators and professionals

Recording Academy/Oct 22, 2020 - 05:30 pm

The Recording Academy's newly launched Black Music Collective (BMC), a group of prominent Black music creators and professionals who share the common goal of amplifying Black voices within the Academy and the wider music community, has announced a distinguished leadership council. The leadership committee is dedicated to progressing the Recording Academy's mission to achieve equitable representation across its membership and the music industry.

The collective will serve as a space for members to speak openly about new and emerging opportunities in Black music alongside an inspiring group of groundbreaking Black music creators and business leaders. Leadership has already begun creating and identifying programming that will encourage the acceleration of Black membership within the Academy.

Members of the leadership council will join Honorary Chairs Jeffrey HarlestonJimmy JamQuincy JonesDebra LeeJohn Legend and Sylvia Rhone to work hand in hand to elevate the mission of the collective. Recording Academy Trustee Riggs Morales serves as the BMC Chair and Washington, D.C., Chapter Executive Director Jeriel Johnson is the Executive Sponsor. 

The Black Music Collective's Distinguished Leadership Committee includes the following accomplished music professionals:

"Our time is now and I'm so excited to add my voice in whatever way I can to honor those who came before me, those who worked building the foundation in this important work in music," H.E.R. said. "Initiatives like this help give a voice to young and emerging artists who dream of an even bigger future. We're all in this together."

"This is a new era of change for the Recording Academy and we are honored to have these leading artists, executives, producers and engineers who are all at the top of their fields join us for such an important moment in our world, our nation and our industry," Harvey Mason jr., chair and interim president/CEO of the Recording Academy, said. "Black music is part of the fabric of our industry and it is so reassuring to stand with these leaders to create momentum, bring change and amplify Black voices."

"We're energized by our partnership with such an esteemed group of Black music leaders who share our mission to foster and accelerate Black representation, equity and inclusion throughout the music industry," Valeisha Butterfield Jones, chief diversity & inclusion officer of the Recording Academy, said. "We've doubled down on our partnership with these leaders and are committed to the work ahead."

Stay up to date on the BMC's progress here

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Watch The Recording Academy's Inspiring "Change Music" Summit In Full