×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Recording Academy Invites 900 Women and Minorities to Join, Based on Task Force Findings

Just 21% of the Academy's current voting membership is female; 55% is white.

The Recording Academy has invited 900 women and/or people of color under the age of 39 to join as voting members, based on the recommendation of its Task Force on Diversity & Inclusion formed earlier this year.

The move is an effort to diversify its voting membership in the wake of the fierce criticism the Academy received earlier this year in the wake of outgoing chairman Neil Portnow’s ill-phrased comment to a Variety reporter that female executive and musicians need to “step up” in order to receive equal recognition, and the low percentage of female and minority 2018 Grammy winners. Portnow announced late in May that he will step down from his post next year.

According to the announcement, invites were extended to a broad range of music creators, including vocalists, songwriters, instrumentalists, producers, and engineers. Those who accept their invitations to join by Nov. 15 will have the opportunity to participate in the final round of voting for the 2019 Grammy Awards; those who join after Nov. 15 will be eligible to vote in next year’s awards cycle.

The Academy says it has also diversified the composition of its Nominations Review Committees, the 16 committees that select the final Grammy nominations in specialized categories. The Nominations Review Committees are now 51% female and 48% people of color; in 2017 they were 28% female and 37% people of color, according to the report.

Similarly, the eight National Governance Committees, which oversee such areas as membership and advocacy, raised their numbers of female members to 48% and people of color to 38%, up from 20% and 30%, respectively.

The Recording Academy says its total membership, including voting and associate members, is 22,000, of which 33% are female; however, just 21% of the 13,000 voting members are female. It added that 55% of the voting membership identifies as white, 28% as people of color and 17% declined to disclose, according to data the Academy provided to Billboard.

Task Force chair Tina Tchen, formerly chief of staff to First Lady Michelle Obama, said the initiative is “a first step.

“The Recording Academy should reflect the scope and scale of the music industry and recognize the creative and artistic endeavors that enable it to thrive,” she continued. “Having a truly diverse membership is the foundation for any change. This initiative is one of the many ways the Task Force is encouraging change in practices while nurturing a more inclusive organization for Academy members today and for generations to come.”

She also said that she hopes to have the bulk of the Task Force’s work completed by May of 2019. “I have been hoping, and I remain still hopeful, that we started our work in May and that by the time we got to our year anniversary we’d be largely finished,” she told Billboard. “That’s the pacing that we’ve wanted to be on. This is not a longterm gig for all of us. But we haven’t set a firm deadline. We want to get the work done and we want to get it done right and we understand the urgency of getting it down quickly as well.”

 

 

 

 

More Biz

  • NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 06:

    Endeavor Promotes Mark Shapiro to President

    After four years overseeing content operations at IMG, Mark Shapiro has been promoted to president of Endeavor. Shapiro’s elevation to the newly created post comes as Endeavor has expanded dramatically during the past few years, starting with its acquisition of IMG in 2014. Endeavor is now the parent company of WME, IMG, UFC and other [...]

  • Rhapsody, Sony Music to Launch Spotify

    Rhapsody, Sony Music to Launch Spotify Competitor in Japan

    Rhapsody and Sony Music Entertainment today announced a partnership to launch what they describe as the first on-demand, high-resolution streaming music service in Japan. Rhapsody International is providing its “Powered by Napster” platform including a set of systems, tools and APIs to allow SMEJ to quickly launch and bring its on-demand service to market. The service, [...]

  • China's Alibaba to Take Majority Control

    Alibaba to Take Majority Control of Alibaba Pictures

    Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is to take majority control of its films unit Alibaba Pictures. The $160 million (HK$1.25 billion) deal was announced Monday. The companies said that Alibaba would increase its stake in Hong Kong- and Singapore-listed Alibaba Pictures through a share subscription. It will lift the parent company’s stake from 49% to 51%, [...]

  • Guy Moot

    Is Sony/ATV’s Guy Moot Headed for Top Job at Warner/Chappell?

    Ever since Jon Platt announced in September that he will be stepping down from his post at the helm of Warner/Chappell Publishing to take the top job at Sony/ATV when Martin Bandier’s contract is up at the end of March, speculation has been rife about who will take over for him. One name has been [...]

  • The King Eric Clapton A Life

    Rashida Jones, Lili Zanuck Talk Grammy Nominations and the Music-Documentary Gold Rush

    Nothing takes you back to time and a place like the music of a particular era. That’s one big reason why music documentaries are flourishing at a time of enormous demand for high-end docu productions. This year’s five Grammy Award nominees for best music film reflect the appetite for stories about renowned and beloved musical figures, [...]

  • il bussetto best business card holder

    Office-Appropriate Gifting: The Best Gifts For Your Colleagues and Bosses

    You can do better than a handshake or bottle of wine to wish your boss a Happy Holiday this season. Here are 10 gifts that show your appreciation for your colleagues or manager, while also helping you stand out from the card and cookie-wielding pack. 1. Personalized Beer Growler Whether they are using it for [...]

  • viceroy-los-cabos-review

    Winter Hotel Guide: Where The Stars Stay in Los Angeles, New York and Beyond

    Whether for a business meeting, a private event, or an intimate celebration for family and friends, these are the hotels that Hollywood keeps on its list. From storied properties that are rich in film and fashion lore, to new players on the hospitality scene, here’s where to book your next stay. 1. Hotel Shangri-La (Santa [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content