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

Graphic: The Recording Academy

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

Composed of nearly 2,000 diverse music creators and professionals, the 2022 New Member Class signals the organization's continued progress toward cultivating a community that embodies the ethnicities, genres and crafts that power the music industry.

Recording Academy/Sep 9, 2022 - 04:52 pm

Like never before, the Recording Academy is committed to cultivating a community that embodies the ethnicities, genres and crafts that power the music industry. And this continued progress is beautifully reflected in the Recording Academy's 2022 New Member Class, which is composed of nearly 2,000 diverse music creators and professionals.

Of the invitees who accepted their Recording Academy membership invitation, sent to more than 2,700 music professionals in June, 44% are from traditionally underrepresented communities; 47% are under the age of 40; 32% are women; and 52% are male. The remaining 16% are composed of individuals who identify as non-binary and those who opted not to disclose.

The complete statistics surrounding the demographics of the Recording Academy's 2022 New Member Class can be found here and below.

The 2022 New Member Class marks four years since the Recording Academy transitioned to a community-driven and peer-reviewed annual cycle. This was in an effort to create a more diverse and engaged membership base representative of the ever-evolving musical landscape.

Since implementing the new model in 2019, the number of women members has increased by 19%, and membership among traditionally underrepresented communities has increased by 38% — now accounting for 31% and 33% of the Recording Academy's current membership, respectively.

Furthermore, the Recording Academy has added 1,913 women to its Voting Membership since 2019 and is now 77% of the way to reaching its goal of adding 2,500 women Voting Members by 2025.

Graphic showing statistics of the Recording Academy's 2022 new membership class demographics

In an annual address to the organization's membership body, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. highlighted the significance of Academy membership and each constituent's unique opportunity to create a lasting impact on the music community. In the address, Mason also highlighted key initiatives and milestones for the Academy and welcomed the organization's 2022 New Member Class.

"After years of listening, learning and putting in the work, we're beginning to see results of our efforts to diversify the Academy's membership come to life," Mason stated in his address. "Our members are the lifeblood of this organization, powering everything we do from the inside out. When we have diverse people representing all corners of the industry contributing unique perspectives, progress is achieved at a rapid pace.

"The journey is just beginning," he continued, "and I can't wait to work alongside our new and existing members to build on the Academy's commitment to effecting real, meaningful change."

The annual member address also underlined a series of further milestones, including the five new GRAMMY Awards categories created in June and to be awarded at the upcoming 2023 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 65th GRAMMY Awards: 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.

Just as monumental is the newly announced Best Song For Social Change award, a Special Merit Award curated by a Blue Ribbon Committee, which is now accepting submissions through Friday, Oct. 7.

Mason's address also underscored the Recording Academy's efforts in leading the fight for the Decriminalizing Artistic Expression Act in California and the RAP (Restoring Artistic Protection) Act on the federal level that would restrict the use of rap lyrics and other creative works in court. (Today is the deadline for Recording Academy members to register for District Advocate Day 2022, taking place on Thursday, Oct. 6. Learn more about and register for District Advocate Day here.)

Aside from submitting product for GRAMMY Awards consideration and voting during the GRAMMY Awards process, Recording Academy members can propose amendments to GRAMMY Awards rules; run for a Recording Academy Board position or Committee; vote in Chapter elections; support fellow musicians through Advocacy efforts and MusiCares initiatives; engage with the Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing and Songwriters & Composers Wing; and much more.

Learn more about the Recording Academy's membership process and requirements. And keep checking RecordingAcademy.com for more information and news about exciting developments regarding our Recording Academy membership initiatives and members, the beating heart of this society of music people.

Recording Academy Elects 19 New Leaders To Its 2022-2023 National Board Of Trustees

Statement From Harvey Mason jr., The Recording Academy CEO

GRAMMY Award

PHOTO: JATHAN CAMPBELL

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Statement From Harvey Mason jr., The Recording Academy CEO

The following is a statement from Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. regarding nominations for the 64th GRAMMY Awards

Membership/Nov 26, 2021 - 02:49 am

"Realizing that today is a time to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends, we reluctantly felt compelled to respond to the suggestive and sometimes erroneous reports we have seen in the media regarding the Academy’s decision to expand our general fields from eight to 10 nominees. But first, we must pause and give thanks for the many blessings bestowed upon us over the last year. 

Our music industry has so much to be thankful for. The love and passion for what our community has produced has also led to one of the most robust nominating processes in the history of our Academy. I applaud our Board of Trustees, for having the agility and foresight to approve this expansion as a way to honor more music, more artists and more genres. And yes, they did it quickly and decisively, and they did it without knowing who the additional nominees would be. 

For those who would suggest any counter-narratives to stir drama and drive clicks, I would ask that you please take a fresh look at the new Recording Academy. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all of this year’s nominees and music fans everywhere."

—Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy

A Letter To Our Recording Academy Members And To Our Colleagues In The Music Industry

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A Letter To Our Recording Academy Members And To Our Colleagues In The Music Industry

Read a letter from the Academy's Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees

Recording Academy/Feb 16, 2018 - 01:16 am

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees is attuned to the calls to action that have resonated ever since the 60th GRAMMY Awards. We recognize the impact of the unfortunate choice of words from our President/CEO, Neil Portnow, in a post-GRAMMY interview. In the many letters and statements that we and our Board have received from some of our most respected artists, as well as prominent female and male music business executives, the message is clear: Our Academy and our industry must do a better job honoring and demonstrating our commitment to cultural, gender and genre diversity, in all aspects of our work. 

The Recording Academy is a membership organization, first and foremost. Like all Academy members, our Trustees live and breathe music, and are embedded in the fabric of our industry. Our Board members - many of whom are women - include independent artists, songwriters, touring musicians, producers and engineers, visual and audio entrepreneurs, A&R executives, and music publishers.  Our Vice Chair and former Chair/Chair Emeritus are women, and our National Awards and Nominations, Membership, Advocacy, and Producers & Engineers Wing Steering committees are all chaired or co-chaired by women. We honor the Academy, and we expect nothing less in return than strict adherence to musical excellence, an inclusive and diverse philosophy, meaningful outreach and communication, a purity of purpose, and an eagerness to embrace change as our musical culture and society evolve

The Academy’s commitment to our community resonates far beyond the nominations, winners and performers on the GRAMMY Awards. MusiCares, the GRAMMY Museum Foundation, and our Advocacy presence in Washington, D.C., speak to how much we care about all the people in our music family, whether they are Academy members or not. Our 12 Chapters nurture new generations of professionals in recording and business, and mentor Governors on our local boards to ally themselves with the issues they are most passionate about. At the heart of what we do, there is mutual respect and the belief that each of us has something unique and valuable to offer. The more diverse we are as an Academy, the better equipped we are to champion our members and our community.

The GRAMMY Awards have always been a positive and negative flashpoint and will likely continue to be because of the ever-changing nature of our world. We are constantly striving to reflect genre, gender, and ethnic diversity in our categories and fields. We welcome proposals from our members to make changes, and we debate all worthy ideas at an annual meeting dedicated solely to this purpose. Likewise, we have worked hard to ensure that our eligibility requirements reflect changing distribution methods. The advent of online voting and the ability to offer audio streams of nominated titles has been designed to make the voting experience convenient, while not compromising security.

The Academy is a thriving, fluid environment. It has a powerful agenda to do good work intended to improve the lives of those who create music, and to ensure that we respectfully participate in a culture where creativity can flourish.  We look to our industry partners to provide opportunities for music creators to maintain their professional careers. We embrace the idea that with the help and support of dedicated artists and professionals, we will undertake a fresh, honest appraisal of the role of women in all aspects of our Academy and the industry at large, with the hope of inspiring positive change.

Our Board of Trustees is committed to creating a comprehensive task force that will take a deep look at these issues and make material recommendations on how we can all do better. We are pleased that our task force announcement has been well received, with many people offering to participate in work that will yield tangible results. As we continue to take the appropriate time needed to ensure that this action is well-conceived and properly developed, we ask you to remember what this is about: improving our community and creating opportunity for all.  If we achieve this goal, we will all look back at this moment as one that has helped reshape the fabric of our industry. 

Please be assured that the Executive Committee and our Board of Trustees holds all the Academy’s leadership to the highest standards. We respect and deeply appreciate the opinions of the artists and industry leaders who have spoken up since the GRAMMY Awards. We cherish the trust that you have in the Recording Academy, and pledge to honor this transformational moment of gender equality as we continue to recognize musical excellence, advocate for the well-being of music makers, and ensure that music remains an indelible part of our culture.

Respectfully,

The Executive Committee on behalf of the Board of Trustees
The Recording Academy

The Recording Academy Appoints David Gregory To Chief Information Officer
Photo of GRAMMY trophy

Photo: Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

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The Recording Academy Appoints David Gregory To Chief Information Officer

As Chief Information Officer, David Gregory leads the Information Technology team responsible for the overall technology infrastructure at the Recording Academy and its awards shows

Membership/Oct 15, 2021 - 05:00 pm

The Recording Academy announced today the appointment of David Gregory as Chief Information Officer, effective immediately. Reporting to Co-President Panos A. Panay, Gregory leads the Information Technology team responsible for the overall technology infrastructure at the Recording Academy and its awards shows, including network and systems technology, distribution and support of mobile devices, and training. He is responsible for driving operational technology and processes for IT, ERP, CRM, data security, governance, risk, and compliance while using technology to generate value, maintain security, and increase productivity. Gregory also oversees the applications that manage membership and the voting process for the GRAMMY Awards and supports the organization in achieving its diverse business objectives.

"Implementing new technological solutions is critical as we sharpen and modernize our service to staff and members," Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, said. "David's track record will further accelerate the Academy's growth as we continue to refine our practices on every level and transform the future of the organization."

"I am delighted to welcome David to the Academy as our new Chief Information Officer," Recording Academy Co-President Panos said. "I've had the pleasure of working together with David for many years and look forward to bringing his talent and experience to the Academy as we architect and redevelop our data and technological infrastructure to meet the demands and needs of a new Academy and a new music business."

Before joining the Recording Academy, Gregory served as vice president of technology resources at Berklee College of Music for six years, where he led the implementation of major enterprise cloud applications including Salesforce and Workday and taught advanced music theory and composition for Berklee Online. He also held roles as vice president of technology at Smith College and chief information officer at Colgate University.

From 1994 to 2002, Gregory was the founder and chief creative officer for Media Station, a digital media company that developed interactive products for companies such as Disney, Hasbro and Mattel, where he designed the games and produced music for "The Lion King" animated storybook games.

Gregory holds a bachelor's and master's degree of music in composition from the University of Michigan and a certificate in music for film and television from Berklee Online.

The Recording Academy Names Valeisha Butterfield Jones And Panos A. Panay As Co-Presidents

Black Music Collective Podcast: Watch Ledisi Discuss Her Journey In Music As An Independent Artist

Ledisi (L) & MC Lyte (R)

Ledisi PHOTO CREDIT: COURTESY OF Artist / MC LYTE PHOTO CREDIT: D'ANDRE MICHAEL

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Black Music Collective Podcast: Watch Ledisi Discuss Her Journey In Music As An Independent Artist

In the latest episode of the "Black Music Collective Podcast," GRAMMY-winning artist Ledisi talks through her journey in music on a road that hasn't always been easy and how she's remained true to who she is as an artist

Recording Academy/Jul 16, 2021 - 04:00 am

In the latest episode of the "Recording Academy x EBONY: Black Music Collective Podcast," a new podcast series presented by Procter & Gamble, host and two-time GRAMMY nominee MC Lyte chats with powerhouse vocalist Ledisi, one of the greatest singers of her generation.

Throughout her distinguished career, Ledisi has garnered an impressive list of accolades, including three Soul Train Music Awards, a NAACP Theater Award and six NAACP Image Award nominations. Most recently, Ledisi received two LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award nominations, including Best Featured Actress in a Musical. This year, she received her first GRAMMY Award, for Best Traditional R&B Performance for her hit song, "Anything for You," at the 63rd GRAMMY Awards this past March. (She counts 13 career GRAMMY nominations overall.)

Born in New Orleans and reared in Oakland, California, Ledisi has wowed fans with her unparalleled vocals ever since she burst onto the scene. She is a beloved favorite among fellow musical and cultural icons, including the Obama family, the late Prince, Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, and so many others.

An influential figure within the Recording Academy family, Ledisi was elected President of the Recording Academy's Los Angeles Chapter this year.

Listen to Ledisi talk through her journey in music on a road that hasn't always been easy and learn how she has remained true to who she is as an artist in the newest episode of the "Recording Academy x EBONY: Black Music Collective Podcast" above.

About The Recording Academy x EBONY: Black Music Collective Podcast:

The "Recording Academy x EBONY: Black Music Collective Podcast" is a six-part podcast series presented by Procter & Gamble. Hosted by MC Lyte, the series includes various members of the Recording Academy's 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 beyond, who discuss their contributions and impact within the community and the music industry at large.

The "Recording Academy x EBONY: Black Music Collective Podcast" streams every Thursday at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT through July 29 on EBONY.com and EBONY's YouTube channel and Facebook page, as well as on GRAMMY.com/BlackMusicCollectivePodcast and the Recording Academy's official Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Black Music Collective Podcast: Watch Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Discuss Their Legendary Legacy As GRAMMY-Winning Producers