Photo: Alison Sheehy
The Recording Academy Appoints Ruby Marchand To Chief Awards & Industry Officer; Joanna Chu Elevated To Vice President Of Awards
The redefined roles and restructuring of the Awards Department comes during a transformational period at the Recording Academy as the organization evolves to better serve its membership and the music industry at-large
The Recording Academy announced today that Ruby Marchand has been appointed to the position of Chief Awards & Industry Officer and Joanna Chu has been elevated to Vice President of Awards, effective immediately. The redefined roles and restructuring of the Awards Department comes during a transformational period at the Recording Academy as the organization evolves to better serve its membership and the music industry at large.
As Chief Awards & Industry Officer, Marchand will continue to oversee both Awards and Membership & Industry Relations, reporting to the Academy's Co-President, Valeisha Butterfield Jones. In her expanded role, Marchand will work closely with Genre Managers on the Awards team to effect outreach to musical communities across the nation and beyond, bringing innovative new possibilities into the Awards process while ensuring their utmost integrity. Marchand focuses on creative strategies that enhance the natural alignment between Awards and Membership, overseeing the Membership team as well as the leaders of the Producers & Engineers Wing, Songwriters & Composers Wing and GRAMMY U.
In the newly created role of Vice President of Awards, Chu will further her expertise in Awards systems and operations by leading the team through all aspects of the Awards season. Chu will report to Marchand and join her in reinforcing key Academy initiatives throughout the Awards process, with a special emphasis on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
"I am proud to welcome Ruby and Joanna into their new positions as we work to enhance our awards processes from the inside out," Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, said. "Their expertise in this space is highly valuable as we continue to refine the Recording Academy's role in the music industry and work to provide the highest quality of service to our members."
Prior to joining the Recording Academy's executive team, Marchand held several elected leadership roles at the Academy. In 2004, she was elected Governor and Vice President of the New York Chapter, where she chaired GRAMMY In The Schools for more than 12 years. In 2011, Marchand was elected a National Trustee from the New York Chapter and served for two terms. She was elected Vice Chair of the Academy by the National Board of Trustees in 2015 and served until 2019. Additionally, she was Co-Chair of the Awards & Nominations Committee for seven years and helped drive new eligibility rules related to streaming as well as the process of refreshing Fields and Categories for the GRAMMY Awards. Marchand was a member of the National Advocacy Committee in 2015–16 and represented the Academy on a historic trade mission in 2014 with A2IM and several independent labels to Shanghai, Seoul and Hong Kong.
Marchand previously held leadership roles at Warner Music Group, including vice president of international A&R for 25 years, head of A&R for Cordless Recordings and Rykodisc, and senior vice president of revenue and repertoire assurance. Marchand has served as a consultant to the Music and Performing Arts Professions' School at NYU and at other companies and organizations. She is a former executive-in-residence and adjunct professor at NYU Steinhardt's Music Business Program.
Chu previously held Director and Managing Director roles in the Recording Academy's Awards Department, where she was responsible for overseeing the departmental staff and upholding the integrity of the awards process. Using her technical background and professional management experience, Chu's efforts resulted in a number of musical talent recognitions and music career achievements. Prior to joining the Recording Academy, Chu worked in Silicon Valley as one of the few women software engineers in the aerospace industry for 15 years prior to a career shift to the music industry.
GRAMMY trophies at the 59th GRAMMY Awards in 2017
Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Recording Academy Announces Leadership Council For The Songwriters & Composers Wing
The Songwriters & Composers Wing leadership council will work with the honorary chairs to elevate and advocate on behalf of music's storytellers
The Recording Academy's newly launched Songwriters & Composers Wing (S&C Wing) has announced a Leadership Council composed of music creators spanning diverse backgrounds and genres to further the S&C Wing's mission of supporting and advocating on behalf of music's storytellers. Working collaboratively with the Recording Academy's membership base and ecosystem of musicians, the Leadership Council will meet regularly to inform the Wing's direction and take lead in fostering recognition of all genres of songwriters. To better serve creators internationally, the S&C Wing has also forged a partnership with the Latin Recording Academy and will work with the organization to better serve global creators who identify as songwriters and composers.
Hailing from the Recording Academy's 12 Chapters and the Latin Recording Academy's membership, the accomplished songwriters and composers who make up the Leadership Council include:
The Leadership Council will join the previously announced Honorary Chairs Lamont Dozier, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Ashley Gorley, Carole King, Jimmy Jam, Tania León, Gustavo Santaolalla, Valerie Simpson, Diane Warren, and Hans Zimmer. Recording Academy Trustee Evan Bogart serves as the Songwriters & Composers Wing Chair and Susan Stewart is the newly appointed Managing Director.
"The Wing's mission is to provide composers and songwriters a home base in the industry that presents opportunities, advocates on their behalf, and celebrates their important contributions to our music community," Susan Stewart, Managing Director of the Recording Academy's Songwriters & Composers Wing, said. "We're thrilled to take action alongside our newly established Leadership Council to help further the Wing's mission of amplifying the work and voices of creators that call these crafts home."
Through educational offerings, including panels, mixers, songwriting retreats, and mentorship, the Songwriters & Composers Wing provides opportunities for recognition, networking and collaboration. It also spotlights emerging opportunities for song and scoring achievement within a variety of media globally, and amplifies songwriters' and composers' unique role in policy discussions that seek fair compensation for creators.
Stay up to date on the Songwriters & Composers Wing and learn more about joining its membership here.
Photo Courtesy of IBM
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
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.
(L-R): Christine Albert, Om'Mas Keith, Tammy Hurt, Rico Love
Photo Credit (L-R): Brenda Ladd, Mark Peace, Rexway, Allen Benedikt
The Recording Academy Board Of Trustees Elects Tammy Hurt, Rico Love, Om'Mas Keith, And Christine Albert As National Officers
The Recording Academy has announced its newly elected national officers of the Board of Trustees, voted upon at the organization's annual spring Board of Trustees meeting in May, including Tammy Hurt, Rico Love, Om'Mas Keith, and Christine Albert
The Recording Academy announced today its newly elected national officers of the Board of Trustees, voted upon at the organization's annual spring Board of Trustees meeting in May. Tammy Hurt was elected as the Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Rico Love will serve as Vice Chair. Om'Mas Keith was elected Secretary/Treasurer and Christine Albert continues her role as Chair Emeritus. All officer appointments are effective immediately.
"I'm in awe of the amazingly talented group that's been elected to lead this new era of the Academy and really excited at the possibilities as I start this journey with Tammy, Rico, Om'Mas, and Christine," Harvey Mason jr., President/CEO of the Recording Academy, said. "I know this group is going to do great work as we continue to transform the Academy and support the music community."
ABOUT THE NATIONAL OFFICERS
As an independent music industry veteran, Tammy Hurt has been a driving force in Atlanta's music scene for decades. An Emmy-nominated producer for her work with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Hurt is the managing partner of Placement Music, a boutique entertainment firm specializing in custom music, scoring and licensing. FOX Sports commissioned the company for two consecutive Super Bowl broadcasts to create an original full orchestral score. Additional credits include Paramount Pictures, CBS, MTV, HBO, BET, Sony, Lifetime, Hallmark, NFL, NASCAR, "True Blood," "Dexter," "Drop Dead Diva," Mean Girls 2, and multiple custom placements in the indie film HITS, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival.
Hurt's most recent project, Sonic Rebel - We Made This With Our Hands, is a five-song instrumental EP that is a mashup of electronic, rock, glitch, dub trap, and hip-hop elements, releasing summer 2021. Recorded at Big Trouble Recording in L5P Atlanta, the project features Dan Gleason and Ben Homola from Grouplove, engineer TJ Elias, multi-instrumentalist Kevin Spencer on guitar, and Hurt on the drums.
A co-founder of the nonprofit organization Georgia Music Partners, Hurt spearheaded the campaign to create and pass Georgia's first standalone music tax incentive, the Georgia Music Investment Act. She is a recipient of Catalyst Magazine's Top 25 Entrepreneurs and Ones to Watch Award and is an openly LGBTQ+ officer of the Recording Academy.
Rico Love is a three-time SESAC Songwriter of the Year recipient. He has written and produced hit records for artists such as David Guetta/Usher ("Without You"), Romeo Santos ("Promise"), Usher ("There Goes My Baby"), Nelly ("Just a Dream"), Trey Songz ("Heart Attack"), and Kelly Rowland ("Motivation"), and has contributed to GRAMMY-winning works such as Beyoncé's 2009 Best Contemporary R&B Album I Am... Sasha Fierce, Usher's 2010 Best Contemporary R&B Album Raymond v. Raymond, and Usher's 2010 Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "There Goes My Baby." Love continues to enjoy success as a songwriter and producer, but is equally dedicated and passionate about his new music conference venture, We Love Music Conference, which is designed to educate, inspire and cultivate up-and-coming talent. His label, D1MG, has partnerships at Epic, Hitco and Sony.
GRAMMY-winning, multiplatinum-selling producer, engineer, composer, musician, performer, executive, and TV personality Om'Mas Keith is a Hollis, Queens, New York, native with a rich musical pedigree. He is one of the founding members of the avant-garde hip-hop/jazz trio Sa-Ra Creative Partners and has worked as a producer and songwriter with such artists as Erykah Badu, Jay-Z, Kanye West, John Legend, Anderson .Paak, Vic Mensa, Kali Uchis, and Frank Ocean.
Om'Mas began his service to the Recording Academy as a Los Angeles Chapter Board Advisor in 2015-2016. He's since served as a Los Angeles Chapter Board Governor & National Trustee. As Awards and Nominations Co-Chair, he oversaw historic positive and cultural change to the awards process. His participation as a team leader during the GRAMMYs on the Hill campaign for the passage of the Music Modernization Act was "a life-changing experience." As a founding member of the Recording Academy's Black Music Collective, he is passionate about its goals of increasing diversity and advocating for racial justice.
Christine Albert is an independent recording artist and founder/CEO of Swan Songs, an Austin, Texas-based nonprofit that fulfills musical last wishes. She has released 12 independent albums as a solo artist and as part of the folk/Americana duo Albert and Gage. Albert and her husband and musical partner Chris Gage also own and operate MoonHouse Studio and MoonHouse Records in Austin. She is known for her "Texafrance" series of French/English recordings that combine her European heritage and Texas musical roots.
She has appeared on "Austin City Limits," was honored as Female Vocalist of the Year by the Kerrville Folk Festival Music Awards, and was awarded Superstar of Austin Music by the Austin Chamber of Commerce for her community service work. She was inducted into the Texas Songwriter's Association Texas Music Legends Hall of Fame in 2018.
These accomplished, elected officers, in partnership with the newly appointed President/CEO Harvey Mason jr., will lead the Board of Trustees and Recording Academy senior staff to strategically guide and shape the mission and policies of the Recording Academy and its affiliates.