December 2, 2023
In previous years people of color only accounted for 24% of members.
The Recording Academy has ushered in a new member class and, this year, it is composed of more than 2,400 people of color, an all-time record for the organization, according to a press release shared with BLACK ENTERPRISE. This is a stark contrast to the previous years, in which people of color only accounted for 24% of members, according to Billboard.
Of the new members, 50% are people of color, 46% are under the age of 40, and 37% are women. These numbers come after the Academy announced new DEI measures to ensure a more diverse body of members earlier this year.
Similar to the Grammy Awards, the Recording Academy relies on peer review to determine its incoming classes. The organization adopted this model in 2019, which has led to a substantial increase in representation due to the narrowed selection process. With this recent achievement, the Academy is on track to meet its goal of adding at least 2,500 women Voting Members by 2025 and is actually ahead of schedule.
Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, spoke about the accomplishment.
“I’m proud as our organization continues to evolve and build a membership body that reflects the diverse talents and backgrounds that make up our music community,” he said. “Our commitment to diversity and inclusivity, however, is an ongoing effort. While we celebrate our progress, we also acknowledge that there’s still more work that must be done. Our members play a crucial role in everything we do, so representation is integral to our mission of supporting and uplifting music makers. I’m thrilled to welcome this year’s new class and look forward to watching them engage with our Academy for years to come.”
The Recording Academy has three membership options — a voting membership for those in the recording industry, a professional membership for music businesspeople, and a GRAMMY U membership for emerging musicians.
The 66th Annual Grammy Awards are just around the corner and members are nearing the final stage of voting, which begins Dec. 14, 2023 and ends Jan. 4, 2024. To learn more about the Recording Academy’s membership requirements, visit here.
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