After years of viewers, musicians, and other industry representatives pushing for changes in the Grammy nomination and voting process, The Recording Academy announced that they have extended 2,710 membership invites to a group of music creators and professionals that is more diverse than ever before.
This year’s group of 2,710 invited members is 48% female, 32% Black or African American, 13% Hispanic or Latinx, and 4% Asian or Pacific Islander. Of the new members, 56% are under the age of 40. Fifty-five percent of the the invited members come from “traditionally underrepresented groups.” The Recording Academy’s current membership only 26% female and only 27% of them represent traditionally underrepresented groups. The new invitees will put the Academy 33% closer to reaching its goal of adding 2,500 women voting members by 2025.
“This is an incredibly exciting time to join the Academy and play a part in accelerating change, progress and evolution within the music industry,” says Kelley Purcell, Vice President of Membership and Industry Relations at the Recording Academy. “Our membership body is the driving force behind our actions, and we value the contributions of our members that help ensure the Academy’s practices authentically represent the current state of music. We’re excited to see what this new group brings to the table as we enter a new era at the Academy.”
The most recent outcry against the Grammys occurred after The Weeknd, who put out one of last’s year most popular album, After Hours, received zero nominations. He called the awards show “corrupt,” telling them they owe everyone more transparency. Last year, after winning Best Rap Album for the genre fluid Igor, Tyler, the Creator called the award a “backhanded compliment.” In the same night, Sean “Diddy” Combs said, “Truth be told, hip-hop has never been respected by the Grammys. Black music has never been respected by the Grammys.” This new voting member group announcement comes three years after the former-CEO of The Recording Academy Neil Portnow told women artists that if they wish to be recognized, they need to “step up,” which, wow. Other recent changes by The Recording Academy include new rules around the different nomination categories, including the removal of the long-debated “urban” category.