Photo courtesy of the Recording Academy
Why Is It Important To Vote For The 2023 GRAMMYs? Prince Royce, Antwane, Andrew Joslyn & Other Recording Academy Members Speak
The Recording Academy made good on its promise of transparency, instituting major changes surrounding the GRAMMY Awards voting process. That's why it's more important than ever to vote this season, these artists say.
There are only two days left to participate in first-round voting for the 2023 GRAMMYs; final-round voting will commence Dec. 14.
If you're a Recording Academy member, and you haven't yet voted, check out the list linked below — a detailed series of reasons why participating in this precious process is so important to the music community worldwide.
But if you'd rather hear it directly from Recording Academy members, they have your back. In a series of Twitter Spaces and Instagram Live conversations, Recording Academy members from Prince Royce to Antwane opened up about the cruciality of this process.
The 2023 GRAMMY nominations are officially here. See the complete list of nominees across all 91 GRAMMY categories.
In an Oct. 19 Twitter Spaces conversation co-helmed by the Recording Academy and R&B publication Rated R&B, Len Brown — the head of hip-hop, R&B and reggae at the Academy — and Rated R&B editorial assistant Antwane Folk — underlined why it's so important to raise your voice and vote for the 2023 GRAMMYs.
"It's important in the sense that you want your genre represented — in this case, we're talking R&B, rap, or whatever," Brown said. "You want to make sure those people are getting their just deserts, and their recognition."
Folk raised a germane point in response: "That doesn't mean these are going to be major artists," he said. "These can be independent artists that are among the five nominated.
"This is a peer-based award," Folk added. "These are people within the music community — performers, songwriters, producers, engineers, instrumentalists, and other creators who are actively working in the recording industry, who can determine the GRAMMY winners and GRAMMY nominees each year."
"That's what makes it different from the other awards," Brown replied. "You have media pundits; you have journalists; you have fans; you have a lot of other folks that are weighing in on certain people winning."
In comparison, he said, "This award is about the people that do it, just like you."
Read More: Your Vote, Your Voice: 6 Reasons Why Your GRAMMY Vote Matters
Another Twitter Spaces moderated by Recording Academy Membership Manager Amanda Garcia Davenport included Songwriters & Composers Wing Managing Director Susan Stewart, violinist and recording artist Andrew Joslyn, and blues singer/songwriter Diana Durrett.
"The people that are writing songs for a living and are producing records — that's who's going to be voting for you," Durrett said. "I think that's nice that you're going to be respected and awarded [by] someone who really is in there, and knows what it takes to make a recording, or write a great song."
Echoing other's remarks about the GRAMMYs being a peer-to-peer award, Stewart chimed in: "That's why we need our whole, entire community represented in voting for this."
Joslyn noted the importance of "uphold[ing] the integrity of the awards — because it's peer-[to-peer], we need that input from the entire populace of the music industry." Also, he pointed out, the show isn't just for its own sake — it funds the Academy's critical ventures, like MusiCares and Advocacy.
Over on Instagram, Recording Academy Executive Director Jessica Toon spoke with Thunderpussy vocalist Molly Sides and music producer Dani Deahl.
Sides framed the voting process as "showing up" for our peers and colleagues to "spark change"; Toon noted it as "the ultimate music discovery tool." And Diehl correctly pointed out that being a Recording Academy member goes several steps beyond simply voting.
"You actually get to help shape the rules and the categories," Diehl continued, "and really, foundationally change the way things operate."
For example, she added, she helped push forward a proposal to add the "/Electronic" tag to "Best Dance Album" — which may seem like a subtle change, but significantly helped open up the category to other artists in the electronic realm.
Traveling back in time a week and change, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. held an enlightening conversation on IG Live with Om'mas Keith, the Secretary and Treasurer of the Recording Academy's Board of Trustees; and Tammy Hurt, Chair of the Board of Trustees.
"There used to be things called committees that were doing some work to try to curate and pull together the right nominations. They were groups that made sure that last-minute entries weren't overlooked, or making sure there were things that were in the right places. " Mason said.
"Those are no longer in place," he continued. It is purely the vote of the members — the vote of your peers, the vote of people who are listening to the music and judging it on the quality… and excellence of the art. It's not streams; it's not sales, popularity, Instagram followers, who charted."
"That's why I'm part of the GRAMMYs," Keith added. "Because it's such a powerful award, and it feels so good to win an award knowing that your peers awarded you."
And speaking more broadly of positive shifts in the Academy throughout her decade-long tenure, Hurt cited Recording Academy membership as the key, driving force. "[We took] this feedback that we'd gotten, and [took] the initiatives that had begun.
"The Academy is what it is today because we're finally starting to get the right people in the room," Hurt continued. "The right people to have the conversations — the right people to vote on the awards. It's really, truly a new day — a new era."
The "Your Vote Your Voice" Twitter Spaces series continued on Oct. 21, with Latin pop/R&B singer Prince Royce, singer/songwriter Tanerélle, and pop/rockers Deep Sea Diver — moderated by veteran music executive Quiana Conley.
Speaking to why certain artists will be nominated for 2023 GRAMMYs, Tanerélle underscored the supremacy of musical quality — period.
"It doesn't have anything to do with the stata of the charts," she said, "but how you genuinely feel, from the people you're listening to and the creators that you admire, that uplift you and inspire you."
Deep Sea Diver's Jessica Dobson noted that the process once seemed relatively opaque to her. "To be honest, in my mind, there were a lot of presumptions that I had, and a lot of mystique around what the GRAMMYs were and how the process worked," she said. And with time, "it was demystified, and I also had a lot of wrong assumptions."
"Oftentimes, people that complain about nominations aren't even voting," Royce said. "So, for me, one thing is educating people about what the Academy is about, and how voting goes down."
Let these inspiring conversations on Twitter and Instagram clear up any misconceptions or misgivings about the GRAMMYs voting process — so you, too, can get out and vote!
Photo courtesy of the Recording Academy
The Recording Academy Congratulates All Of The Winners & Nominees At The 2023 GRAMMYs: "Keep Shaking Up The World With Your Music"
As the 2023 GRAMMYs season comes to a close, Recording Academy executives sign off on a historic GRAMMY season with messages of gratitude to all of the winners and nominees at this year's GRAMMY Awards.
Every GRAMMY ceremony is a history-making event. But the 2023 GRAMMYs did so for very specific reasons — ones that had an indelible impact on the music industry and cultural landscape worldwide.
Among the most talked-about milestones for the GRAMMYs' big return to Los Angeles as an in-person ceremony: Beyoncé became the person with the most GRAMMYs of all time. Kim Petras scored a big win for the transgender community with her GRAMMY win for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance alongside Sam Smith; she's the first transgender woman to win in that category. Dr. Dre was the inaugural recipient of his namesake Dr. Dre Global Impact Award.
Equally significant were the five new GRAMMY Awards categories debuted and awarded at the 2023 GRAMMYs, making those five recipients the first to receive their respective honors. These inaugural winners, who were awarded at the Premiere Ceremony, included: Tobias Jesso Jr. (Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical); Stephanie Economou (Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games And Other Interactive Media for "Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Dawn Of Ragnarok"); Wet Leg (Best Alternative Music Performance for "Chaise Longue"); Bonnie Raitt (Best Americana Performance for "Made Up Mind"); and J. Ivy (Best Spoken Word Poetry Album for The Poet Who Sat By The Door). On top of that, 57% of this year’s Grammy winners were Black artists or from other underrepresented communities, and 48% were women.
For Recording Academy executives, the 2023 GRAMMYs marked a banner year for Music's Biggest Night — and the music community writ large.
"I'm most proud of the range and diversity of our 91 awards, which continue to evolve and to inspire," Ruby Marchand, Chief Awards & Industry Officer for the Recording Academy, says. "Music as a powerful force for change within our culture and our lives was what struck me as the show unfolded."
Kelley Purcell, the Recording Academy's Vice President of Membership & Industry Relations, echoes the sentiment: "It was inspiring to see a diverse array of artists grace the GRAMMY stage, showing off the beautiful depth and breadth of our industry."
As one of the organization's leaders bridging the inner workings of GRAMMY voting with the wider music industry, Purcell is also inspired by the Recording Academy's esteemed voting membership, who make their voices heard when voting for the nominees and ultimate winners each year during GRAMMY season.
"From submitting eligible recordings to voting and tuning in to watch the GRAMMYs, Recording Academy members know that the GRAMMY process is strongest when every member is involved," she says. "It is always inspiring to witness Recording Academy members take their participation in the GRAMMY process seriously."
"I was inspired to see our members dedicate themselves to every step of the Awards process and celebrate musical excellence as peers," Marchand adds.
As the 2023 GRAMMYs season comes to a close, the Recording Academy is extending a mighty, heartfelt congratulations to all of this year's GRAMMY winners and nominees. Your well-earned achievements, along with the full-fledged commitment of the Academy's wider membership, brought this year's GRAMMY ceremony to life. The Recording Academy will continue to celebrate all GRAMMY winners and nominees this year and beyond.
"To my wonderful colleagues: Your dedication, professionalism, and heart for our GRAMMY Awards and our amazing musical community is at the heart of what makes our Academy such a special home," Marchand reflects.
"Keep shaking up the world with your music," Purcell adds. "The world needs it."
2023 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Complete Winners & Nominees List
Photo courtesy of the Recording Academy
The Inaugural Best Song For Social Change Award Captured The World’s Attention. The Recording Academy Now Looks To The Future: "The World Needs To Hear Your Voice"
Iranian singer/songwriter Shervin Hajipour received the inaugural Best Song For Social Change Special Merit Award at the 2023 GRAMMYs. Now, Recording Academy leaders give music fans an inside view at the making of the award and look toward its future.
An intimate, vocal-forward performance had an earth-rattling impact. Last September, the widely publicized death of 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa Amini while in custody of the morality police in Iran sparked outrage and protests across the world. Less than two weeks later, Iranian singer/songwriter Shervin Hajipour poured his raw feelings into "Baraye."
An emotive offering to the Iranian population, and the rights of women everywhere, the song became a global clarion call for protesters on the ground as well as those in solidarity with them. Hajipour posted "Baraye" on his Instagram page. In less than two days, it gained more than 40 million views.
In recognition of this culture-shifting song, the Recording Academy — by way of presenter First Lady Jill Biden — awarded Hajipour with the inaugural Special Merit Award for Best Song For Social Change at the 2023 GRAMMYs.
The Recording Academy's Chief Awards & Industry Officer, Ruby Marchand, and Sr. Director of Awards, Nick DiFruscia, speak for this entire society of music people when they describe how "Baraye" fulfills the mission of the Best Song For Social Change Special Merit Award — one of the highest honors a socially conscious song can receive.
"I think it's global and it's universal," DiFruscia says of the song in an interview with GRAMMY.com. "The magic in the ether came together. And then you see how it's impactful. It becomes the anthem or the unofficial anthem of a movement that the globe has now focused on, and then all the behavior around it."
Read More: 2023 GRAMMYs: How The New Best Song For Social Change Special Merit Award Inspires Positive Global Impact & Celebrates Message-Driven Music and How To Qualify
"I think that if ever there were an example of how a simple song can change the world, you have it in 'Baraye,'" Marchand adds. "A man sitting behind a keyboard creating this very sweet, evocative melody, but yet the lyrics are piercing for those who understand them. And even for those who don't, they hear the emotion in his voice and completely identify with that."
"Music is one of the most powerful forces on earth and has long been an engine of important social and political advancements. We created this award to shine a spotlight on the music that is making a difference and there couldn't have been a better song to win this inaugural honor than Shervin's," Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. said in a statement announcing Hajipour as the honoree.
To Marchand, no matter which languages you speak or understand, the moving emotion of "Baraye" transmitted loud and clear. "It wasn't about language; it wasn't about a particular image or lyric that we may not all have in common," she says. "It was about the humanity in the performance and in the song. And that's where a song can truly change the world."
The Special Merit Award is determined by a Blue Ribbon Committee, a group of qualified Recording Academy voting members, and ratified by the Recording Academy Board of Trustees.
"These are members who are very steeped in the craft and art of songwriting, of lyrical development, and of social justice themes and social change possibilities" Marchand notes. "It was a diverse, dedicated, and remarkable group of people who came together and understood the purpose behind this award."
The process, she says, is highly intensive in multiple regards. "We're talking about dozens and dozens of hours spent listening in order to absorb the full breadth and scope of the submissions", Marchand reflects. "It was truly a meeting of the minds."
Some great songs are personal; some are political; some are neither. Some blend the personal and political until they're indistinguishable. How does one compare a great song to an impactful song? To DiFruscia, there's no concrete delineation.
"One never knows what is going to impact the public — either it be emotionally, either it be political, it is a magic sort of ether. A very special mix in the air that comes together," he says.
To DiFruscia, a song worthy of the Best Song For Social Change caliber can run the gamut as per topics at play, as well as the composition's relative complexity. He says it can be "a magnificently crafted composition that's academically superior,” or “a very simple, three-chord song that completely captivates an audience.”
"It relates to how our committee members digested and listened and judged these songs that were submitted based on their own understanding and their own direction of the spirit of the award," DiFruscia notes. "I think a lot of that magic sort of has to process and then gets conveyed through conversation in the meetings."
With the first-ever Special Merit Award for Best Song For Social Change in the bag, both Marchand and DiFruscia are feeling very positive and centered toward the development and future of the award. "We want to continue to protect its integrity and also to ensure that the award is known to songwriters who are deserving of consideration because they're engaged in social impact."
"For however long as I'm involved, I just would like to watch it unfold without any expectation," DiFruscia says of the award." I think there's going to only be more magic that happens around this award in the subsequent years."
For the creators who are ready to take a massive swing and write or sing about our beautiful, terrifying, complex world in the young 2020s, Marchand encapsulates the essence of this monumental Special Merit Award in seven words: "The world needs to hear your voice."
Meet Stephanie Economou, The First-Ever GRAMMY Winner For Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games And Other Interactive Media
Graphic: The Recording Academy
2023 GRAMMYs: Everything You Need To Know About Final Round Voting
Now that the nominees for the 2023 GRAMMY Awards have been announced, it’s time for Recording Academy voting members to submit their Final Round votes. Here’s everything you need to know before voting opens Dec. 14.
GRAMMY Voting season, and the journey to Music’s Biggest Night, continues!
Now that First Round voting, which took place in October, has determined the nominees at the 2023 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 65th GRAMMY Awards, Recording Academy voting members are now set to decide who will take home a golden gramophone on GRAMMY night next year via Final Round voting.
As Academy voting members prepare to cast their votes, we’ve assembled a helpful guide with all the must-know information about the Final Round GRAMMY Voting process behind music’s only peer-recognized honor.
2023 GRAMMYS VOTING — KEY DATES
Final Round Voting: Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022 — Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023
2023 GRAMMYs (65th GRAMMY Awards) Telecast: Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023
VIEW THE 2023 GRAMMY NOMINEES
Last month, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. joined creators across genres and crafts, including Olivia Rodrigo, Machine Gun Kelly, John Legend, Smokey Robinson, and more, to reveal the full list of nominations for the 2023 GRAMMYs.
The full list of nominations covering all 91 categories, as well as additional information on past GRAMMY nominees and winners, can be accessed at GRAMMY.com/Awards.
See a full list of updates and adjustments to the 65th GRAMMY Awards nominations list.
THE IMPORTANCE OF FINAL ROUND GRAMMY VOTING
The annual GRAMMY voting process is divided into two phases. First Round Voting determines all the GRAMMY nominees for each GRAMMY Awards year. Once the nominees are determined, Recording Academy voting members return to the ballots to vote during Final Round Voting, which ultimately determines the GRAMMY winners across all categories to be revealed on GRAMMY night.
To ensure all artists, musicians and creators are fairly evaluated based on their artistic and technical merits, it is vital for all Recording Academy voting members to participate in both First Round Voting and Final Round Voting. This will help the wider music community determine the leading music of the year, as voted on by their peers.
MUSIC’S ONLY PEER-VOTED AWARD
The GRAMMY is music’s most prestigious honor and the only peer-recognized award in music. It represents the full recognition and respect that comes from within the global family of music people. Every vote affirms this prestige and continually refreshes the meaning of excellence in music and the recording arts and sciences.
As active, working musicians and creators across all genres and crafts, Recording Academy voting members are responsible for representing the international music community and celebrating the creative accomplishments of their peers.
HONORING FIVE NEW CATEGORIES
To evolve alongside the ever-changing musical landscape, the Recording Academy accepts proposals for GRAMMY category changes or amendments from its robust, diverse membership body every year.
As a direct result of this annual membership-driven initiative, the 65th GRAMMY Awards will honor creators across 91 total categories, including the below five newly announced categories, which will debut at the 2023 GRAMMYs next February:
Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games And Other Interactive Media
Remember: Like in First Round Voting, Recording Academy voting members can vote in up to 10 categories across up to three fields on their member ballot, in addition to all four categories in the General Field (Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best New Artist). To help ensure the quality of GRAMMY voting, members are directed to vote only in their areas of expertise.
THE GRAMMY BALLOT, UPGRADED
The personalization, search and flexibility enhancements added to GRAMMY voting ballots will continue to be implemented this year. As introduced during First Round voting, the recently launched category selection tool, which minimizes scrolling time and creates an easy-to-use, custom ballot for each voter, will return for Final Round voting.
LISTEN TO NOMINATED RECORDINGS
As they cast their votes, voting members will have the ability to stream nominated recordings on select streaming services.
Respecting fellow creators means respecting and considering their work, so we encourage all voting members to take additional time and give another thoughtful listen to all nominated recordings in the categories in which they are voting.
HOW TO VOTE
Recording Academy voting members can access their Final Round GRAMMY Voting ballot via their member dashboard beginning Wednesday, Dec. 14.
Before voting opens, please make sure you have the correct email and password. If your credentials are invalid, reset your password. For further assistance, contact the Membership Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For general voting support, contact 833-789-VOTE (8683) or email@example.com.
VOTING & SOLICITATION GUIDELINES
It is imperative that our voting members participate in the GRAMMY Awards process in a fair and ethical manner and only make choices based on artistic and technical merits of the recordings. Before voting, make sure to read the Voting and Solicitation Guidelines and Voter Code of Conduct.
Learn more about the year-round GRAMMY Awards voting process and read our FAQ.
Your Vote, Your Voice: 6 Reasons Why Your GRAMMY Vote Matters
The 2023 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 65th GRAMMY Awards, returns to Los Angeles' Crypto.com Arena on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, and will broadcast live on the CBS Television Network and stream live and on-demand on Paramount+ at 8-11:30 p.m. ET/5-8:30 p.m. PT.
The eligibility period for the 65th GRAMMY Awards is Friday, Oct. 1, 2021 – Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. All eligible awards entries must be released within this timeframe.
The Recording Academy and GRAMMY.com do not endorse any particular artist, submission or nominee over another. The results of the GRAMMY Awards, including winners and nominees, are solely dependent on the Recording Academy’s Voting Membership.