5 Things We Learned From The GRAMMY Museum's "Hip Hop & Mental Health: Facing The Stigma Together" Panel
L-R: Eric Brooks, Michael “Blue” Williams, Adrian Miller, and Nick Cannon at the "Hip Hop & Mental Health: Facing The Stigma Together" panel at the GRAMMY Museum

Photo: Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for the Recording Academy


5 Things We Learned From The GRAMMY Museum's "Hip Hop & Mental Health: Facing The Stigma Together" Panel

The GRAMMY Museum, the Recording Academy's Black Music Collective and MusiCares partnered with the Universal Hip Hop Museum to exchange real talk during Black Music Month.

Recording Academy/Jul 11, 2022 - 09:12 pm

In a climate where political and personal attacks are raining down on all fronts, three of music's biggest superpowers have convened for a discussion geared towards healing.

On Sat., June 25, the GRAMMY Museum, the Recording Academy's Black Music Collective, and MusiCares partnered up with the Universal Hip Hop Museum to host "Hip Hop & Mental Health: Facing the Stigma Together," a Black Music Month panel moderated by Nick Cannon.

A wellness-centered occasion, the open-and-thoughtful conversation featured insights from XYION's Adrian Miller, Family Tree Services' Michael "Blue" Williams and Eric Brooks about the state of mental wellness and healthcare in hip hop, the music industry, and beyond.

When it comes to unpacking unresolved traumas and devising a competent plan of action, there is no more important time than now. Together, we can implement systemic and structural changes to the personal and professional lives of our favorite artists.

With that in mind, here are five things that GRAMMY.com learned from the panel.

A Mental-Health Department Is Needed

To kick off the occasion, Nick Cannon, Adrian Miller, Michael "Blue" Williams, and Eric Brooks called for the music and entertainment industry to institute a mental-health department.

From their perspectives, this would help artists, executives, managers, and staff deal with personal and interpersonal issues.

"Managers are now supplementary family members [to these artists] as we're being there for them in a way that we've never had to do before," said Williams, who served as de facto manager for Outkast, Nas, Macy Gray, and others.

As he continued, record labels put so much money into maintaining the trauma of our favorite stars — but now, they need to invest in their well-being.

Hip-Hop Is An Undervalued American Export

Adrian Miller, the former VP of A&R at Warner Brothers Music Group and an industry leader in artist curation, was asked by host Nick Cannon to talk about how the recording industry profits from trauma.

"The culture is the major cultural export that the world enjoys," Miller said without hesitation. "But [only] the labels know the number of its value — and it is refusing to share."

Overall, the discussion highlighted that hip-hop has consistently been a challenge to those who want to use its voice, its lyrics, and its artists in a negative way.

According to Eric Brooks, the shift of hip-hop culture into mainstream dominance is "unavoidable." This means that more than ever before, compensation needs to be properly given to the creators.


"Hip Hop & Mental Health: Facing The Stigma Together" at The GRAMMY Museum on June 25, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for the Recording Academy

Social Media Leads To Mismanagement Of Artists' Expectations

Most artists have a second job in projecting their professional and public lives on Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and the like.

And in catering to millions of people with a curated lifestyle full of like-worthy excellence, the panel delved into the extreme highs and lows that music people face — thanks to the pressures caused by social media.

"These artists can easily perform in front of millions of music lovers — but when they get off stage, one tweet can have the power to crush them," said Michael "Blue" Williams. "No one can teach us that [as managers], but we need to [have the resources] to be prepared. 

Despite the hype that comes with the push of a button, there needs to be a new way — through revamped media training or other methods — to ensure that artists' mental health comes first.

We Need To Talk About Burnout — And The Effects Of Trauma

The effects of this thing we call life can affect us greatly when we're alone.

During the "Hip Hop & Mental Health" panel, there was a frank industry-forward conversation about the elephant in the room — burnout — and how to detect it in industry professionals and artists. 

"Artists are in a fight-or-flight mode when it comes to being in this game," said Eric Brooks.. "And there need to be strategies on how to deal with the inner battles that only happen in the mind and body." 

Michael "Blue" Williams — who is no stranger to dealing with high-profile clientele — mentions that what happened to Kanye West and the late Chris Lighty should be an example of what breakdown and the effects of trauma look like.


Dr. Monique "Dr. Flo" Hedmann speaks at "Hip Hop & Mental Health: Facing The Stigma Together" at The GRAMMY Museum on June 25, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for the Recording Academy

VIP Attendees Were A Big Part Of The Discussion

When the floor opened up to questions, there was no shortage of hands being raised — showing how crucial the attendees were to this conversation.

Also in attendance were some high-profile mental-health professionals, like JC Hall, LCSW (Hip Hop Therapy), Dr. Monique "Dr. Flo" Hedmann (Hip Hop Public Health), and Nakeya T. Fields, LCSW (Black Mental Health Task Force). 

These parties shared extra insights on how to address the concerns that were brought up during the two-hour-plus chat, and provided a variety of helpful mental health and addiction resources.

All in all, they illuminated how suffering music people can get help — today, and for many years to come.

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GRAMMY Museum Presents Spectacular 'The Power Of Song: A Songwriters Hall Of Fame Exhibit' Paying Tribute To American Icons

Image courtesy of the GRAMMY Museum


GRAMMY Museum Presents Spectacular 'The Power Of Song: A Songwriters Hall Of Fame Exhibit' Paying Tribute To American Icons

The immersive exhibit highlights transcendent American artists, celebrates the work and legacy of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and explores the mysteries behind the creation of world-shifting music.

Recording Academy/Mar 21, 2023 - 12:56 pm

For more than half a century, the Songwriters Hall of Fame has honored and celebrated the greatest songwriters and composers of our time.

The GRAMMY Museum's The Power of Song: A Songwriters Hall of Fame Exhibit lauds the work and legacy of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and explores the mysteries behind the making of great music. The newly expanded traveling exhibit launches at the GRAMMY Museum on April 26 and will run through Sept. 4.

Through artifact displays, an original film, and interactive experiences, The Power of Song: A Songwriters Hall of Fame Exhibit, examines the songwriter's creative process, tells the stories of great songwriters — all of whom are Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees or Special Award recipients — and digs deep into the celebrated compositional works that make up the American music treasury.

Curated by Jasen Emmons — the GRAMMY Museum's Chief Curator & VP of Curatorial Affairs — and Kelsey Goelz, GRAMMY Museum's Associate Curator, the exhibit pays tribute to artists who have significantly contributed to America's rich songwriting legacy.

The GRAMMY Museum has an ongoing collaboration with the Songwriters Hall of Fame and served as one of its physical homes since 2010. This partnership resulted in the curation and launch of this traveling exhibition, which illuminates the art of songwriting and offers an inside look at the creative process behind popular songs. 

Originally launching at CUNY Graduate Center in New York this past summer, the newly expanded exhibit opening in Los Angeles includes several new, never-before-seen artifacts representing the careers of songwriters such as Tom Petty, Allee Willis, the Songwriters Hall of Fame's current Chairman and Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Nile Rodgers, and many more.

It also includes interactive content where visitors will be able to explore a sprawling database of Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees and choose between several “song spotlights” to hear renowned songwriters explain the origins of a song.

Highlights from The Power of Song: A Songwriters Hall of Fame Exhibit include:

  • An original exhibit film featuring songwriters Jimmy Jam, Toby Keith, Carole King, Smokey Robinson, Carole Bayer Sager, and Diane Warren, sharing insights about their creative process.

  • A songwriting interactive featuring Toby Keith, Carole King, Smokey Robinson, and Don Schlitz, each dissecting one of their hit songs.

  • A piano owned by George Gershwin – one of three pianos that he commissioned during his career.

  • Handwritten lyrics and other songwriting artifacts representing the creative work of inductees Desmond Child, Hal David, Steve Dorff, Lamont Dozier, Will Jennings, Holly Knight, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Henry Mancini, John Mellencamp, Alan Menken, Cole Porter, Taylor Swift, and others.

Learn more about The Power of Song: A Songwriters Hall of Fame Exhibit and advanced ticket reservations for the exhibit.

New Shakira Exhibit At GRAMMY Museum Visualizes The Colombian Superstar's Voracious Creative Appetite & Global Influence

Jason Mraz Launches New GRAMMY Museum 'Sunday Brunch With…' Fundraising Series In Support Of GRAMMY Museum

Photo: Shervin Lainez


Jason Mraz Launches New GRAMMY Museum 'Sunday Brunch With…' Fundraising Series In Support Of GRAMMY Museum

Presented by Union Bank and generously supported by VERSE LA, the series will nourish the GRAMMY Museum's GRAMMY In The Schools education programs.

Recording Academy/Mar 9, 2023 - 11:32 pm

Jason Mraz has been a renowned singer/songwriter for years — and now, he's taking a big stride in his efforts to boost music education.

Enter the GRAMMY Museum's Sunday Brunch With… is a new fundraising event series in support of the Museum's GRAMMY In The Schools education programs.

Launching the inaugural Sunday Brunch, the Museum is thrilled to team up with Mraz and the renowned VERSE LA, located in Toluca Lake, for a morning of great music and food. Guests will dine on a three-course brunch while enjoying music performed by a jazz trio put together by a GRAMMY In The Schools education program alumni. 

Following the meal, guests will be treated to a rare, up close, and personal 45-minute performance from two-time GRAMMY winner Jason Mraz to close out the afternoon.

This inaugural event is presented by Union Bank and generously supported by VERSE LA, which is owned by long-time GRAMMY Museum supporter and 17-time GRAMMY Award-winning mixer, Manny Marroquin. Proceeds from the event will benefit the GRAMMY Museum's music education programs, which annually impact more than 35,000 K-12 students and teachers across the country.

For tickets and more info, click here — and we'll see you at what will undoubtedly be a soul-nourishing event in service to all who desire a music education!

5 Can't-Miss Panels At GRAMMY In The Schools Fest 2023

5 Can't-Miss Panels At GRAMMY In The Schools Fest 2023

Photo: Courtesy of the GRAMMY Museum


5 Can't-Miss Panels At GRAMMY In The Schools Fest 2023

From a 'Shakira, Shakira' Exhibit Tour to a Women In Music Career Panel, explore the key panels at this year's GRAMMY In The Schools Fest, hosted by the GRAMMY Museum.

Recording Academy/Mar 3, 2023 - 08:42 pm

Kicking off Music In Our Schools Month, the GRAMMY Museum is proud to host its third annual GRAMMY In The School Fest in support of music education.

The festival will take place this year from Monday, March 6 to Friday, March 10, and all programs are free for students who register in advance. Events are offered both in-person at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles as well as virtually via livestream.

From a Guest Artist Session with Baby Tate and NLE Choppa to a World Beat Rhythms Workshop, this free festival aims to inspire and make music education accessible as possible. Learn about everything from the history of hip-hop to the power of music therapy to audio engineering and creative production.

This year's lineup features other artists and industry professionals such as Catie Turner, Chase Atlantic, Drebae, IDK, Justin Tranter, MAJOR., Marq Hawkins (DJ CLI-N-TEL), Moore Kismet, and renforshort.

Below, read about the week's five key panels you won't want to miss. Register for them and other panels here.

Women In Music Career Panel

Monday, March 6, 9 a.m.-10 a.m.

March marks not only Music In Our Schools Month, but also celebrates Women's History Month. In this Q&A session honoring the intersection of these themes, listen to inspiring stories and insider advice from women working in the music industry. The panel features executives from organizations such as the Music Forward Foundation, Guitar Center Company, and Roland Americas.

History of Hip-Hop & The Hip-Hop Experience

Tuesday, March 7, 3 p.m.-4 p.m. PST

From music to fashion to dance, hip-hop's impact on culture has been monumental. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the genre, learn from GRAMMY Museum's panel of singer-songwriters, record producers, and company founders, featuring Jason Mills (professionally known as IDK), Marq Hawkins (professionally known as DJ Cli-N-Tel), and Larrance Dopson.

Shakira Exhibit Tour & Non-Profit Spotlight – Fundación Pies Descalzos (Barefoot Foundation)

Thursday, March 9, 1 p.m.-2 p.m. PST

What's it like to tour with Shakira? Hear from musicians Joe Ayoub, Grecco Buratto, and Adam Zimmon, who have toured and closely worked with the GRAMMY Award winner, in a conversation focusing on the powerful impact of Latin music. Later, take a special tour through GRAMMY Museum's brand new exhibit, Shakira, Shakira, led by the museum's Chief Curator & Vice President of Curatorial Affairs, Jasen Emmons.

Music Therapy Panel

Friday, March 10, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. PST

Whether it brings you serenity or euphoria, music flows as a cathartic and healing force for many — especially in the entertainment industry. In this Q&A focusing on the gravity of mental health, hear important advice and reflections from music therapists, mental health entrepreneurs/educators, and musicians alike.

Guest Artist Session ft. Justin Tranter

Friday, March 10, 1 p.m.-2 p.m. PST

Your favorite song might have been written by Justin Tranter. Having worked with everyone from Ariana Grande to Måneskin to Justin Bieber, the GRAMMY-nominated songwriter joins the festival lineup to share insight on their decades-long experience in the music industry. Tranter writes songs for not only music, but also film, television, and theater — most recently, they've served as the executive music producer and songwriter for upcoming Grease prequel series, Rise of the Pink Ladies.

Register for GRAMMY In The Schools Fest here.

The GRAMMY Museum Announces 'Shakira, Shakira: The GRAMMY Museum Experience,' Honoring Her Creative Legacy; Opening March 2023

The GRAMMY Museum Announces Initiatives To Celebrate Music In Our Schools Month This March

Photo courtesy of Grammy Museum


The GRAMMY Museum Announces Initiatives To Celebrate Music In Our Schools Month This March

The GRAMMY Museum has served more than 435,000 students through its educational program and, this March, the museum's initiatives continue to champion music education.

Recording Academy/Feb 8, 2023 - 11:12 pm

Supporting music education is a cornerstone of the Recording Academy, and as Music In Our Schools Month approaches in March, the GRAMMY Museum announced initiatives to continue uplifting students and encouraging music career exploration.

The GRAMMY Museum launches its 3rd Annual GRAMMY In The Schools Fest from March 6-10, 2023, marking the first time the event will take place in-person in Los Angeles. The free festival will feature everything from artist performances and educational panels, to workshops featuring artists and industry professionals. Registered students can access free lesson plans and study guides, and the festival will also be streamed online for free on COLLECTION:live, the GRAMMY Museum's streaming platform. Students can register for the festival here.

Starting Feb. 27, a new online resource called The Learning Hub will become available on COLLECTION:live for free. As the GRAMMY Museum's premiere platform for music education, The Learning Hub will feature videos from former GRAMMY In The Schools Fests, Careers Through Music, and so many more sessions that will be added regularly. View the collection here.

The GRAMMY Museum will begin hosting the six-week Industry SESH program on March 13, 2023, which aims to educate adults and students about the music industry. The program will offer sessions on music production, music business, artist development, and songwriting.

Every Thursday of March 2023, the GRAMMY Museum will also host weekly workshops through a partnership with the Musician's Institute. View the schedule, which features workshops such as "Creating Ableton Live Loops and The Drum Set," "World Beat Rhythms," and "A Pop Lyric Writing Workshop."

During Music In Our Schools Month, high schoolers interested in music careers can apply for GRAMMY Camp. Held July 16-22, 2023, GRAMMY Camp allows students to apply for one of eight offered career tracks taught by music professionals. This is the first year the camp expands to seven days. Students can apply to attend GRAMMY Camp through March 31, 2023.

Applications for the Music Education Award are also open during Music In Our Schools Month. The Music Education Award honors one music teacher annually for their impact on students' lives; the recipient receives a $10,000 honorarium for themselves as well as a matching grant for their school. The deadline to nominate a teacher for next year is March 15, 2023, though teachers do not need to be nominated in order to apply. Teachers can apply for the award here before March 31, 2023

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