National Advocacy Committee

The Recording Academy’s National Advocacy Committee Comprises Prominent Music Creators

The Recording Academy is an organization by, for and of music creators. The only Washington-based trade association that only represents music’s creators, its positions are determined by an Advocacy Committee of leading working music makers who work in an array of creative endeavors, including performers, producers, songwriters and studio engineers.

The National Advocacy Committee includes Mindi Abair and Harvey Mason Jr., Co-Chairs; Sue Ennis, Lalah Hathaway, Booker T. Jones, and Nile Rodgers, Members; and Daryl P. Friedman, John Poppo, and Neil Portnow, Ex-Officio.

Chairs

Mindi Abair

Mindi is a two-time GRAMMY nominated saxophonist and vocalist. She has garnered ten #1 radio hits, six Top 5 solo records and two #1 spots on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz album chart. In 2014, Mindi received her first Grammy nomination in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category, followed by a 2015 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for her solo LP Wild Heart featuring the late Gregg Allman, Joe Perry, Trombone Shorty, Booker T. Jones, Keb’ Mo’, and Max Weinberg. After two seasons as the featured saxophonist on the hit series American Idol, Mindi collaborated with Randy Jacobs, founder of The Boneshakers, and joined forces to become Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers, performing their first official show together in Seattle in February 2015. When she’s not touring as Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers, the Berklee graduate can often be found recording and touring with a wide array of legendary peers: Aerosmith, Smokey Robinson, Bobby Rush, Adam Sandler, Duran Duran, Lalah Hathaway and the Backstreet Boys.

Harvey Mason Jr.

Harvey Mason Jr. is a multi-GRAMMY nominated songwriter and record producer, who has not only penned and produced songs for industry legends like Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross and Elton John, but also for today’s superstars including Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Chris Brown. Simultaneously, Harvey has been instrumental in producing memorable music for many of the biggest musical films from the past decade. Everyone from Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls, Whitney Houston in Sparkle, to the eclectic casts in Pitch Perfect and SING, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube in Straight Outta Compton and Mary J. Blige and Ne-Yo in The Wiz Live! have called on Harvey to deliver music of the highest standards for blockbuster musical productions. Harvey proudly serves as a Trustee for the Recording Academy.

Advocacy Committee Members

Sue Ennis

Sue is Seattle-based songwriter. She has co-written more than 70 songs for Heart, (30 million records sold and 2013 inductees in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.) Hits include “Dog & Butterfly,” “Straight On,” and “Even It Up.” She has co-written songs for feature films including The Golden Child starring Eddie Murphy and Thomas and The Magic Railroad, and her hobby band, The Lovemongers, appeared on the soundtrack of Singles. Sue scored and wrote the songs for “Art Dog,” a stage musical for The Seattle Children’s Theatre (May, 2014) and is currently writing 12 songs for an animated feature film, Vincent The Artist (2018). Sue teaches Music Business, Career Development and the Craft Of Songwriting at Shoreline Community College in Seattle as well as "Songwriting for Film" for the Seattle Film Institute. She serves as a national Trustee on the board of the National Academy for Recording Arts and Sciences. Currently she is developing a jukebox musical with a nationally-known Broadway producer and director, for which she is writing the book.

Lalah Hathaway

Born to Donny Hathaway, one of the most influential soul artists of the eighties, and Eulaulah Hathaway, an accomplished musician in her own right, the Chicago native first put pen to paper, "with the music," as a 10th grader. Later, as a student at Berklee College of Music, Lalah Hathaway recorded her self-titled debut in 1990, which spawned the hits "Baby Don't Cry," "Heaven Only Knows" and "I'm Coming Back." Hathaway is a five-time GRAMMY winning singer, who earned her first career GRAMMY for 2013 for Best R&B Performance for "Something" with Snarky Puppy. The following three years she earned Best Traditional R&B Performance GRAMMYs for "Jesus Children" (2014), "Little Ghetto Boy" (2015) and "Angel" (2016) and won Best R&B Album for “Lalah Hathaway Live” (2016). In the meantime and between album projects, Hathaway - who's recorded collaborations with Marcus Miller, Meshell Ndegéocello and Mary J. Blige, among them - keeps her creativity nourished by taking to the global stage and contributing her voice to Daughters of Soul, a musical mélange founded by comrade, Sandra St. Victor.

Booker T. Jones

Booker T. Jones is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and arguably the most famous Hammond B3 player in history. As leader of the legendary Booker T and the MGs, this pillar of soul music collaborated with Otis Redding, Albert King, and more during his tenure at Stax Records. Since then, Booker has lent his trademark keyboard chops to and produced classic albums such as Willie Nelson's multi-platinum hit “Stardust” and Bill Withers’ “Just As I Am” featuring the hit song “Ain’t No Sunshine". Both Booker's 2009 solo release "Potato Hole" and his 2011 solo release "The Road From Memphis" won GRAMMY Awards for Best Pop Instrumental Album. In 2013 Booker released “Sound The Alarm”, marking a return to Stax Records after 40 years. In 2016, Booker debuted his live show “Booker T Presents: A Stax Revue”, working with new talent to create a show that reflects the heart and soul of Stax Records. Booker is currently working on a new recording project, writing his memoirs, and touring worldwide with his solo band.

Nile Rodgers

Nile Rodgers

Nile Rodgers is a GRAMMY winning composer, guitarist, and producer. First earning dance hits as a member of the ‘70s pop and R&B group Chic, he and bassist Bernard Edwards went on to produce a string of hits for Sister Sledge, Diana Ross, Deborah Harry and others. Rodgers went on to co-write and produce David Bowie’s chart-topping album Let’s Dance, as well as material for INXS, Duran Duran, Madonna, Sheena Easton, Mick Jagger, Thompson Twins, Steve Winwood, Laurie Anderson, the B-52s, and many others. In 2013, Rodgers co-wrote and produced music for French duo Daft Punk’s album Random Access Memories, which earned three GRAMMYs including Album of the Year. Rodgers continues to tour, produce, and contribute to soundtrack projects. He is a Trustee of the Recording Academy’s New York Chapter.

Ex-Officio

Daryl P. Friedman

Daryl Friedman

Daryl P. Friedman is the Chief Industry, Government & Member Relations Officer of the Recording Academy.

John Poppo

John Poppo

John Poppo is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Recording Academy.

Neil Portnow

Neil Portnow

Neil Portnow is the President/CEO of the Recording Academy.