Meet Recording Academy Co-President Valeisha Butterfield Jones: The Executive Discusses Her DEI Roots, Her Life In Music & Her Mission To Make The Music Industry A Fairer Space For All

Valeisha Butterfield Jones

Photo: Sam Harris

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Meet Recording Academy Co-President Valeisha Butterfield Jones: The Executive Discusses Her DEI Roots, Her Life In Music & Her Mission To Make The Music Industry A Fairer Space For All

For Recording Academy Co-President Valeisha Butterfield Jones, diversity, equity and inclusion aren't values to pay lip service to: They must encompass every facet of the Recording Academy and the music industry at-large for both to thrive

Recording Academy/Nov 5, 2021 - 09:52 pm

After the reckoning on race in America in 2020, making sure people of all sorts are represented, respected and heard in the workplace took priority for some 85 percent of global employers. It also elevated those who uphold the values of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) — including Valeisha Butterfield Jones, the newly appointed Co-President of the Recording Academy.

Before accepting the role in 2021, alongside Co-President Panos A. Panay, Butterfield Jones was the Academy's first-ever Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer. "Valeisha has been a force in driving systemic change and enhancing equal opportunities for underrepresented groups across entertainment, technology and politics," Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. said in 2020, the year she assumed that role.

And it's just that ability that led Mason jr. to bring her into the triage of Academy leaders, shifting to his role as CEO. How did Butterfield Jones navigate her trajectory to the executive leadership team at the Recording Academy? By never losing sight of her values — or her vision — as she maneuvered through the music industry for a quarter of a decade.

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

Butterfield Jones has constructed a singular legacy in the DEI space. After getting her start at HBO Sports, she worked as the global head of inclusion for Google, Inc., served as the national youth vote director for the Obama for America campaign, and served as the national executive director and senior vice president of Rush Communications / The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network.

She's also the co-founder of Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network (WEEN), a nonprofit, global coalition of people committed to the balanced, positive portrayal of women in the entertainment industry. Naturally, Butterfield Jones' mission also touches on the disability sphere; she was the national director of diversity and inclusion for the Alzheimer's Association.

Butterfield Jones's efforts have since garnered national acclaim: Institutions from Forbes to Fortune to Elle have recognized her.

Want to know more about this dynamic, young leader making the Recording Academy and the music industry at-large a more equitable and inclusive space? Get to know Valeisha Butterfield Jones via her work, wisdom and words.

Tell me about your early life and communion with music that started you down this path as Co-President of the Recording Academy.

My path to this role has been a long and rewarding one, for now — gosh! — almost 25 years.

It began when I was a child. When I was growing up in Wilson, North Carolina, I had a deep, deep passion for music. I was a superfan. I was the kid that listened to the radio all day — whatever new album was coming out, I was the first in line at the record store to buy it. Eventually, it evolved into me wanting to understand a little bit more of the business behind the art that I love so much.

[In the '90s,] Atlanta was a big hub for music as it is today. So, that was one of the key drivers for me to go to Atlanta, enroll in Clark Atlanta University [in 1996], and land my first job in music, working for Wu-Tang Clan. That's where it all began. It's been this beautiful, hard journey for almost 25 years — and I would not change a thing.

What was it like to take the leap from a DEI role to Co-President of the Recording Academy? What convinced you to accept the role?

It's an exciting leap — and not one that I expected. I was just really excited about the opportunity for DEI to be in such a senior leadership position at the Academy.

I think it really was a win for every DEI practitioner and person working in DEI across the globe. I don't want to overstate it, but I really feel like DEI is a business imperative and more companies and organizations are recognizing it as one. Harvey was such a visionary and leader, in my opinion, for seeing the value of DEI in his office. I just really appreciate the trust that he has in me to take on this new role.

What went through your mind when Harvey asked you and Panos to be Co-Presidents? Were there any reservations on your end?

I'll never forget the call. He called me one evening and said, "Hey, I have this idea. Would you consider taking on this role as Co-President?" It was an immediate "yes." I didn't need to think about it.

I felt and still feel so honored — and quite frankly, blessed — to be able to do this work in a different way. So, zero hesitation, all excitement — really humbled by it. I feel ready.

As Co-President, what are your overall strategies to elevate the Recording Academy and uplift all music professionals?

First, it starts with unity. Every day, you hear our Chair of our national Board of Trustees, Tammy Hurt, and our CEO, Harvey Mason jr., talk about unity — and that's big. So often, we want to skip to the business. But we also have to be in the business of unity, and that's something that I know is a top priority for us and will continue to be.

The second is transparency: continuing to share what we can, when we can, to the widest possible audience. Always thinking about what we can share around our progress, what we can share about what we've learned — or even the areas that we want to improve — is important.

But then for us, it's global. So we're thinking about a global strategy. How do we reach more people to fulfill our mission in non-U.S. markets, while also making sure that we're expanding our offerings here in the U.S.?

You'll be hearing a lot more from us about what our plans are around that strategy — how we plan to always be more inclusive — and a part of that strategy will be expanding our global footprint.

"​​In every single meeting now, you're hearing DEI as a part of the strategy and the focus. To me, that signals that we're really getting it and doing the work. Because I really believe that DEI shouldn't fall on one person — it's everyone's job."

What are some lessons you absorbed from your background in DEI as per how the Recording Academy can improve as a diverse and inclusive space?

For me, it's really understanding how to analyze data and make data-driven decisions, but not at the expense of the human experience. What I believe is transferable is: How do we make business decisions with our hearts, and with data at its core?

As we think about every single area of our organization, DEI is at the heart of it. One of my dreams, always, since my first day in the role here as DEI Officer, was to make sure that we were building DEI capabilities across every single person and across every single department of the business.

And we're getting there. I really feel like we're moving in that direction. I'm so proud every time I'm in a meeting with our membership department and [Vice President of Membership & Industry Relations] Kelley Purcell, or with our Chapters in all 12 markets — or, you name it, the communications team, the marketing team.

In every single meeting now, you're hearing DEI as a part of the strategy and the focus. To me, that signals that we're really getting it and doing the work. Because I really believe that DEI shouldn't fall on one person — it's everyone's job.

What specifically can the Recording Academy and the music industry at-large do to create true diversity, equity, and inclusion in this field?

I think it starts with the fact that I am a Black woman working in the American music industry — and I have been for more than 20 years. It's really getting down to the real details around what the experiences of women like me and like many of our members are in music.

A part of that's around physical and psychological safety, part of that is around opportunity and access, and all the things that we need to thrive as women working in music. The Women In The Mix Study, which I'm so excited about, will really anchor and focus us around the areas that we need to prioritize for women working in the American music industry.

How do we resource it? How do we become better advocates? And again, how do we become better partners internally and externally in service of our members.

This study is going to help us find solutions to the issues facing women in music. That's the whole purpose of this study, and it's all-encompassing. We're going to find solutions that ensure that women in music can flourish and create pathways to success for them.

With the addition of yourself and Panos as Co-Presidents, Harvey's role has become a triage. What do you enjoy about the creative energy between you three?

We are three parts coming together as this trifecta of different experiences, leadership styles and ideas we want to bring to the table.

I think it's so exciting because we're going to learn from each other, stretch each other, and hold each other accountable. I think the three of us are really leaning into this new model in a very collaborative way. We are talking all day every day, we're building strategies together all day, and, more importantly, we're moving them to action.

So, I think it was such a brilliant idea for Harvey to bring in fresh voices — people with new ideas and different perspectives — to expand and move us into the next chapter as an organization.

"It is the people's choice. We are putting the complete power and decision-making authority into our members' hands."

There have been a lot of changes surrounding the GRAMMY Awards voting process. What sparked these major shifts and what is the ultimate aim with them?

The beautiful thing about the Recording Academy is that we are a membership organization and the GRAMMY Award is a peer-voted award. The new changes that you've seen with our rules [reflect] the transparency that you've seen around our awards process.

The changes are a direct result of hearing from our members that they wanted to see a change. We are always listening and responding to the feedback from our members, and that's what you've seen through these awards changes.

We always follow the guidance and direction of our members, and that's what we've done here. I'm excited to be a part of an organization that puts its members and the creative community first. We respond when we hear the feedback.

Read More: ​​64th GRAMMY Awards: Everything You Need To Know About First Round GRAMMY Voting

These voting changes will be implemented for the 64th GRAMMY Awards in 2022. Why is it especially important to vote this year?

It is the people's choice. We are putting the complete power and decision-making authority into our members' hands.

The voter turnout is so, so, so important this year because we really want to make sure that every single person's voice is heard and reflected on what you see throughout our voting process — and then, what you eventually see on GRAMMY night. I'm really excited about this model of letting our members decide.

Internally and externally, where do you see the Recording Academy in five years?

What I hope to see is that, one, we build on the solid foundation that has already been established over the last 64 years. So often, I think change can be scary, but what I'll say is that I'm excited to embrace it in a way that builds on the solid foundation.

The second thing is to make sure that every single member is heard and seen in the Recording Academy. It means we make sure that our members are part of our process, that we are being transparent about our process, and that we're always listening and making decisions based on the feedback from our members. That's so important.

Last but not least, I really hope that we accelerate our mission. We are in service of music creators and that's why we're here. We love music. We're part of the music community, and to be even better allies and advocates is the goal.

You'll start to see some of that in the next year —and even five years — with the services we offer, the support that we provide to music creators, and, ultimately, the programs that you'll be hearing about soon.

Again, just being a better partner to the music community every day is top-of-mind. We'll be doing that soon through some of the work that you've seen unfolding.

The 64th GRAMMY Awards: Everything You Need To Know About The 2022 GRAMMYs Awards Show & Nominations

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 Announces Leadership Council For The Songwriters & Composers Wing

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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

Membership/Aug 24, 2021 - 05:00 pm

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:

Ivan Barias

        <p><a href="https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/edgar-barrera/18854"><b>Edgar Barrera</b></a></p>

        <p><a href="https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/mason-bates/19561"><b>Mason Bates</b></a></p>

        <p>Emily Bear</p>

        <p><a href="https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/claudia-brant/243155"><b>Claudia Brant</b></a></p>

        <p><a href="https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/bryan-michael-cox/1879"><b>Bryan-Michael Cox</b></a></p>

        <p><a href="https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/erika-ender/187286"><b>Erika Ender</b></a></p>

        <p>Sue Ennis</p>
        </td>
        <td style="width: 114px;" valign="middle">
        <p><a href="https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/jj-hairston/187526"><b>J.J. Hairston</b></a></p>

        <p>Sam Hollander</p>

        <p><a href="https://www.grammy.com/membership/news/jivy-power-teacher-holds-poetry"><b>J. Ivy</b></a></p>

        <p><a href="https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/brett-james/3489"><b>Brett James</b></a></p>

        <p><a href="https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/savan-kotecha/19134"><b>Savan Kotecha</b></a></p>

        <p>Luciano Luna</p>

        <p><a href="https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/lori-mckenna/19192"><b>Lori McKenna</b></a></p>

        <p>Eduardo Osorio</p>
        </td>
        <td style="width: 131px;" valign="middle">
        <p><a href="https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/tayla-parx/251954"><b>Tayla Parx</b></a></p>

        <p>Bruce Robison</p>

        <p>Georgia Stitt</p>

        <p><a href="https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/justin-drew-tranter/188791"><b>Justin Tranter</b></a></p>

        <p><a href="https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/christopher-tin/14405"><b>Christopher Tin</b></a></p>

        <p><a href="https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/emily-warren/287561"><b>Emily Warren</b></a></p>

        <p>Jay Weigel</p>

        <p>&nbsp;</p>
        </td>
    </tr>
</tbody>

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.

The Recording Academy Announces Songwriters & Composers Wing

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

The Recording Academy Board Of Trustees Elects Tammy Hurt, Rico Love, Om'Mas Keith, And Christine Albert As National Officers

(L-R): Christine Albert, Om'Mas Keith, Tammy Hurt, Rico Love

Photo Credit (L-R): Brenda Ladd, Mark Peace, Rexway, Allen Benedikt

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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

Recording Academy/Jun 2, 2021 - 10:06 pm

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

Tammy Hurt

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

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.

Om'Mas Keith

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

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.

In addition to her role as Chair Emeritus for the Recording Academy, she also currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Latin Recording Academy and the Board of Directors of MusiCares.

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.

The Recording Academy Appoints Harvey Mason Jr. As President/CEO