The Recording Academy emphasises diversity with new class of members

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Following a year of allegations regarding corruption and ongoing discussions regarding diversity, The Recording Academy announced last week that it has invited 2,710 music industry professionals to join the Academy’s class of new members for 2021. According to their website, the new class are invited “by a committee of industry peers based on exceptional contributions to the music community.” A statement from Ruby Marchand, chief industry officer at The Recording Academy, emphasises the focus on diversity in the group of new invited members. According to the Academy, 55% of the invitees are from “traditionally underrepresented groups.”

This follows The Recording Academy’s announcement earlier this year regarding changes to its voting and nominations process. Grammy nominations would traditionally be determined by small committees of 10-15 industry professionals who would represent various genres or fields of music. Now however, the final nominees will be decided by a majority vote across all Academy members. 

Currently, the Academy’s membership is made up of 26% female and 27% minority group voters. A statistical overview of this year’s new class reveals that 48% of the new invitees are women, 56% are under the age of 40 and 32% are Black. White or caucasian members still make the majority of invitees however, with 35%. 

For Marchand, membership is the Academy’s greatest agent for change and according to her, “our members drive everything we do.” In her statement, Marchand continued, “I’m inspired by the potential for each invited music creator and business professional to lend their creativity and passion to our organisation.” 

You can find out more about The Recording Academy’s class of 2021, and their membership criteria, here.