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US Recording Academy launches Black Music Collective

By | Published on Monday 7 September 2020

Grammy Awards

The US Recording Academy last week announced the launch of a new Black Music Collective which it describes as “a group of prominent black music creators and professionals who share the common goal of amplifying black voices within the Academy and the wider music community”.

Because 2020 seems more like a decade than a year, the big bust up between the Recording Academy and its former CEO Deborah Dugan seems like it happened a lifetime ago. Not ten days before the 2020 edition of the Academy’s Grammy Awards back in January.

Given Dugan’s portrayal of the Academy as an old boys club with no real interest in addressing its widely documented diversity issues, the organisation is now really keen to stress just how interested it is in addressing its widely documented diversity issues.

The Academy’s new BMC, it said last week, will bring together “creators and business leaders to create a pipeline of future industry trailblazers”. It added that “leaders will meet regularly and initiate programmes that will encourage participation and accelerate black membership in the Recording Academy”.

The Collective will have six honorary chairs in Jeffrey Harleston, Jimmy Jam, Quincy Jones, Debra Lee, John Legend and Sylvia Rhone. A “distinguished leadership committee” will now be unveiled in the coming weeks, apparently.

“The Black Music Collective is necessary to help drive the Recording Academy into a new era”, Academy Chair Harvey Mason Jr said. “Creating an open space for black music creators can only benefit our membership as a whole. Through the past few months, I’ve been personally invested in propelling this collective along with chapter leadership within the Academy. Together, we will elevate black music creators within our organisation and the industry at large”.