Recording Academy to increase diversity with almost 2,000 new members

"The truth is whenever you have diverse inputs into a decision-making process, you tend to arrive at better outcomes"

The Recording Academy will increase its diversity with the induction of almost 2,000 new members, the organisation’s president and CEO has said.

In recent years, the Grammys organisation has been criticised for its lack of diversity, with it responding by taking action to remedy the issue.

Now, president and CEO Harvey Mason Jr has spoken about the latest efforts to increase diversity in the Academy’s annual address, which took place yesterday (September 9). As Billboard reports, Mason welcomed the new members to the organisation during the event and answered questions from the audience.

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“We now actively recruit prospective members and we extend invitations to people who will help us have a more diverse, engaged, and relevant membership base,” he said.

Harvey Mason Jr, Grammys
Grammys boss Harvey Mason Jr CREDIT: Rich Fury/Getty Images The Recording Academy

“We strive for diversity not merely to give certain groups of people or musical genres space at the table [that has been] historically denied them – though that’s definitely part of our motivation. The truth is whenever you have diverse inputs into a decision-making process, you tend to arrive at better outcomes.”

In a statement, he added: “After years of listening, learning, and putting in the work, we’re beginning to see results of our efforts to diversify the Academy’s membership come to life.

“When we have diverse people representing all corners of the industry contributing unique perspectives, progress is achieved at a rapid pace. The journey is just beginning, and I can’t wait to work alongside our new and existing members to build on the Academy’s commitment to effecting real, meaningful change.”

A new report from the Academy has also revealed that 47 per cent of the members inducted this year were under the age of 40. A total of 44 per cent of the new members are from “traditionally underrepresented communities”, while 32 per cent are women.

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New members were also allowed to not disclose their demographic details, with 24 per cent of new members not disclosing their ethnicity.

In July, it was confirmed that the Grammys will return to LA in 2023 after moving to Las Vegas for the 2022 ceremony. The event will also return to its traditional winter occurrence, taking place in February, following two years of postponed shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

New awards will also be added to the event for 2023, including Songwriter Of The Year (Non-Classical, Best Alternative Music Performance, Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games and Other Interactive Media, while a Special Merit Award will be handed out for Best Song For Social Change.

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