The Recording Academy has extended invitations to 2,710 music industry professionals, many from “traditionally underrepresented groups,” in a push to increase diversity.
Of its class of 2021 invitees, 48 percent are female, 32 percent are Black, 13 percent are Latino, and four percent are Asian or Pacific Islander, the organization said in a press release Monday.
“Membership is the Academy’s change agent — our members drive everything we do,” Ruby Marchand, chief industry officer at the Recording Academy said in the statement. “I’m inspired by the potential for each invited music creator and business professional to lend their creativity and passion to our organization.”
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The announcement comes during a tumultuous year for the Recording Academy, which hands out the Grammy Awards.
Last week the group reached a settlement with former CEO/president Deborah Dugan, according to published reports. Dugan was placed on administrative leave in January 2020, five months after she was hired due to allegations of workplace bullying. She countered with an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discrimination complaint that included allegations of voting irregularities for the Grammys. She was formally dismissed from her role in March of last year.
As previously reported, the Recording Academy was also called out this year by The Weeknd following a snub that left him without a single nomination for the 2021 Grammy Awards. Despite winning three Grammys in the past, the “Blinding Lights” singer told the New York Times he believes the awards are rigged and said, “I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.”
Jay-Z has also boycotted the Grammys in the past, saying he disagreed with the nominations.
As for the new invitees, they must accept their invitations by Sept, 15, and will be eligible to vote in October. The 64th Grammy Awards are set to take place Jan, 31, 2022, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.