meta-script2024 GRAMMYs Nominees Who've Stepped Up As Advocates: Nnenna And Pierce Freelon, Tank Ball, Juan Winans & More |
Tank Ball at GOTH
Tank Ball at GRAMMYs On The Hill

Photo courtesy of the Recording Academy


2024 GRAMMYs Nominees Who've Stepped Up As Advocates: Nnenna And Pierce Freelon, Tank Ball, Juan Winans & More

Many leading artists have taken the time to advocate for the music community. Here are a number of 2024 GRAMMYs nominees who have leveraged their commitment to music to effect change.

Advocacy/Dec 13, 2023 - 10:31 pm

​​The Recording Academy may be recognized globally for the GRAMMY Awards, but the Academy works hard to support artists beyond the GRAMMY stage. Year round, the Recording Academy and its members advocate for the rights of music creators in Washington, D.C. and across the entire country. Many of your favorite artists have made it a priority to be an advocate for the music community. Here are some of this year's GRAMMY nominees who have taken their passion for music and used it to spark change:

Victoria Monet

*Singer, songwriter Victoria Monét attends Grammys On The Hill: Awards Dinner at The Hamilton on April 26, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)*

Victoria Monét

Victoria Monét has not only been rising in the music industry as an artist, but she has also been rising as a music advocate.  Monét attended the most recent GRAMMYs on the Hill in 2023 where she met with Representatives Blake Moore (R-UT), Ron Estes (R-KS), and Jim Clyburn (D-SC) to discuss legislation that would affect creators.

Monét, whose nominations for the 2024 GRAMMYs include Best New Artist, may be new to the music and advocacy scene but she has already become passionate about fighting for the rights of songwriters and music creators. Coming from a background of songwriting, she personally believes that they are an under-appreciated group within the industry and is dedicated to utilizing her platform to carry out change.

Jessie Jo Dillon

Singer and songwriter Jessie Jo Dillon has been nominated for two GRAMMY Awards this year including Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical.  In addition to being an accomplished songwriter, Jessie Jo Dillon has used her career to help advocate for creators' rights.

Her journey as an advocate for creators includes serving as Chapter Governor for the Recording Academy's Nashville Chapter, where she also serves on the local Songwriters and Composers Wing Committee.  In 2022 Dillon attended GRAMMYs on the Hill in Washington where she met with Representative Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) and Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Alex Padilla (D-CA) to discuss music legislation including the PEACE Through Music Diplomacy Act, which became law in late 2022. Most recently, Jo Dillon continued her advocacy efforts by participating in the Recording Academy's District Advocate Day on October 5, 2023.


*Lupita Infante attends GRAMMYs On The Hill Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill on April 28, 2022 in Washington, DC. Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for The Recording Academy*

Lupita Infante

Lupita Infante is a two-time GRAMMY nominee, including this year's nomination for Best Música Mexicana Album (Including Tejano), and she has used her platform to advocate for artists across the world. In 2022, Infante joined the Recording Academy in Washington, DC for GRAMMYs on the Hill where she met with Members of Congress such as then-Majority Whip Clyburn to advocate for issues such as fair pay for music creators. Infante also uses her lyrics as a powerful source of advocacy, especially in support of women's rights and empowerment.

Panos A. Panay

*Panos A. Panay, President of the Recording Academy, U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, Juan Winans, and Rico Love attend Grammys On The Hill: Advocacy Day on April 27, 2023 in Washington, DC. Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for The Recording Academy*

Juan Winans

Juan Winans is a three-time GRAMMY nominee, who is currently nominated for Best Gospel Song/Performance. Winans comes from a long line of Gospel singers, all starting with his grandparents Pop and Mom Winans. The Winans family has been involved in the Gospel music scene for years, and many members of the family have been nominated for and won GRAMMY Awards. Winans started his career singing but has since moved on to mostly writing with a few vocal projects here and there.

This past year Winans worked with Lalah Hathaway and released the song "NOW". This song is an advocacy anthem focusing on various issues from civil and human rights to women's rights. The music video also featured the late Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), who was a major advocate for civil rights. In addition, Winans has worked closely with the Recording Academy when it comes to his advocacy efforts. Earlier this year, he participated in the 2023 GRAMMYs on the Hill and advocated for numerous issues facing the music community including freedom of expression. He also frequently participates in the Recording Academy's District Advocate Day where he and other music creators meet with their Members of Congress in their districts.

Pierce Freelon

Pierce Freelon is a two-time GRAMMY nominee who focuses his work on promoting Black Culture in Children's Music. This year, he is nominated for Best Children's Music Album. In April of this year, Freelon participated in the Recording Academy's GRAMMYs on the Hill where he met with lawmakers across the aisle including Rep. Sydney Kamlager Dove (D-CA) and House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH).

Freelon's advocacy goes beyond creating his own music. He is also the founder of the Beat Making Lab, an Emmy Award-winning web series that focuses on activism. Freelon is also an elected Council Member of the City of Durham, putting him in a position to enact change locally.

Nnenna Freelon

Nnenna Freelon is a seven-time GRAMMY nominee and most recently was nominated for Best Children's Album. Freelon is not only a music creator, but a dedicated advocate for creators. She has participated in numerous Recording Academy Advocacy activations including the 2022 GRAMMYs on the Hill where she met with lawmakers including Senators Durbin, Blackburn, and Padilla.

Freelon also uses her platform to promote change and has focused her efforts on education. Freelon was the headliner at the Asia Pacific Economic Summit, a White House Event hosting leaders from around the world and has won awards for her outstanding artistry and her dedication to education.

Tarriona "Tank" Ball

Tarriona "Tank" Ball is the lead vocalist of the group "Tank and the Bangas" who are currently nominated for Best Global Music Performance. Ball has previously been nominated for Best New Artist and Best Progressive R&B Album. Outside of her multiple GRAMMY nominations, Ball has spent time being an advocate for the music community. In April of this year, Ball joined the Academy in DC for GRAMMYs on the Hill. During the GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards Dinner, Ball performed alongside Nile Rodgers in a tribute to Pharrell, the evening's honoree. The following day, she joined other Academy members on Capitol Hill to advocate for music creators everywhere.

She also joined fellow Memphis Chapter Academy members in the Louisiana Music Advocacy Day 2021. Throughout the day, Ball performed the national anthem for the Louisiana House and Senate and spent the rest of the day attending key meetings with legislators to talk about music advocacy.

J. Ivy

*Poet J. Ivy attends Grammys On The Hill: Awards Dinner at The Hamilton on April 26, 2023 in Washington, DC. Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for The Recording Academy*

J. Ivy

J. Ivy, a two-time Grammy winner, is nominated this year for Best Spoken Word Poetry Album. Beyond his success as an artist, J. Ivy has a long history of dedicating his time to advocating for music creators. Ivy, who serves on the Recording Academy's Board of Trustees, annually participates in the Recording Academy's District Advocate Day where he and other artists meet locally with their Member of Congress to raise awareness and gain support for issues facing the music community. This year, he also joined the Recording Academy for GRAMMYs on the Hill to advocate for artists issues on Capitol Hill.

Marc Whitmore

Marc Whitmore is a GRAMMY Award-winning producer and sound engineer who is currently nominated for Album of the Year. Whitmore has worked alongside the Recording Academy to spread the word the need for advocacy within the music community. Last fall, Whitmore and Todd Dupler, Chief Advocacy & Public Policy Officer of the Recording Academy, participated in a Twitter Spaces (now X) to highlight those needs. Whitmore has also participated in the Recording Academy's District Advocate Day where he and other artists local to New Mexico spent their day meeting locally with Members of Congress.

How District Advocate Day 2023 Uplifted Music People And Expanded With Its First Ever GRAMMY Advocacy Conference

Nnenna & Pierce Freelon
Nnenna & Pierce Freelon

Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for The Recording Academy


Family Matters: Watch Mother-Son Duo Nnenna & Pierce Freelon Celebrate Their 2024 Best Children’s Album Nomination

Nnenna and Pierce Freelon discuss their approach to making intergenerational art and the honor of receiving their first GRAMMY nomination together for their collaborative children’s album, ‘AnceStars,’ at the 2024 GRAMMYs.

GRAMMYs/Apr 18, 2024 - 10:52 pm

American musician Pierce Freelon first attended the GRAMMY Awards in the '90s when his mother, jazz artist Nnenna Freelon, received her first nominations. More than two decades later, Pierce and Nnenna shared a full-circle moment at the 2024 GRAMMYs award ceremony when they received a joint nod for their children's album, AnceStars.

"It's not something you can make happen. It's not something you can make up," Nnenna said in an interview for the newest episode of Family Matters.

They spurred the idea for AnceStars after they presented at the 2022 GRAMMY Awards: "It was such an awesome experience, we said, 'You know what? We need to do a record together." When they heard they received a nomination for their project, there were "tears of joy."

"I'm bursting with pride," Nnenna declares. "This is a moment." His mother shared the sentiment adding, "I'm proud of Mom. It's cool to be in a career that is purpose-aligned."

Nnenna and Pierce also introduced their next generation to the beauty of collaboration. Pierce's daughter, Stella, appeared on AnceStars and had the opportunity to attend the ceremony with her father and grandmother, as Pierce did in the '90s.

Press play on the video above to learn more about Nnenna and Pierce Freelon's nomination for Best Children's Album at this year's GRAMMY ceremony, and check back to for more new episodes of Family Matters.

2024 GRAMMYs Nominees Who've Stepped Up As Advocates: Nnenna And Pierce Freelon, Tank Ball, Juan Winans & More

Composite graphic with the logo for GRAMMY Go on the left with four photos in a grid on the right, featuring (clockwise from the top-left) CIRKUT, Victoria Monét, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr., and Janelle Monáe
Clockwise from the top-left: CIRKUT, Victoria Monét, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr., and Janelle Monáe

Graphic & Photos Courtesy of GRAMMY GO


Recording Academy & Coursera Partner To Launch GRAMMY GO Online Learning Initiative

Class is in session. As part of the Recording Academy's ongoing mission to empower music's next generation, GRAMMY Go offers digital content in specializations geared to help music industry professionals grow at every stage of their career.

GRAMMYs/Apr 17, 2024 - 05:01 pm

The Recording Academy has partnered with leading online learning platform Coursera on GRAMMY GO, a new online initiative to offer classes tailored for music creators and industry professionals.

This partnership empowers the next generation of the music community with practical, up-to-the moment digital content that provides wisdom for both emerging and established members of the industry. Continuing the Academy’s ongoing mission to serve all music people, courses cover a variety of specializations tailored to creative and professional growth. 

GRAMMY GO on Coursera includes courses taught by Recording Academy members, featuring GRAMMY winners and nominees and offers real-life lessons learners can put to work right away.

Starting today, enrollment is open for GRAMMY GO’s first Coursera specialization, "Building Your Audience for Music Professionals," taught by Joey Harris, international music/marketing executive and CEO of Joey Harris Inc. The course features Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and five-time GRAMMY winner Jimmy Jam, 10-time GRAMMY nominee Janelle Monáe and three-time GRAMMY winner and the 2024 GRAMMYs Best New Artist Victoria Monét. This foundational specialization will help participants gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to build a strong brand presence and cultivate a devoted audience within the ever-changing music industry. 

The partnership’s second course, launching later this summer, aims to strengthen the technological and audio skills of a music producer. "Music Production: Crafting An Award-Worthy Song" will be taught by Carolyn Malachi, Howard University professor and GRAMMY nominee, and will include appearances by GRAMMY winner CIRKUT, three-time GRAMMY winner Hit-Boy, artist and celebrity vocal coach Stevie Mackey, five-time GRAMMY nominee and Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr., and 15-time GRAMMY winner Judith Sherman. Pre-enrollment for "Music Production: Crafting An Award-Worthy Song" opens today.

"Whether it be through a GRAMMY Museum program, GRAMMY Camp or GRAMMY U, the GRAMMY organization is committed to helping music creators flourish, and the Recording Academy is proud to introduce our newest learning platform, GRAMMY GO, in partnership with Coursera," said Panos A. Panay, President of the Recording Academy. "A creator’s growth path is ongoing and these courses have been crafted to provide learners with the essential tools to grow in their professional and creative journeys."

"We are honored to welcome GRAMMY GO, our first entertainment partner, to the Coursera community," said Marni Baker Stein, Chief Content Officer at Coursera. "With these self-paced online specializations, aspiring music professionals all over the world have an incredible opportunity to learn directly from iconic artists and industry experts. Together with GRAMMY GO, we can empower tomorrow's pioneers of the music industry to explore their passion today."

GRAMMY GO also serves as the music community’s newest digital hub for career pathways and editorial content that provides industry insights for members of the industry; visit for more. For information and enrollment, please visit the landing pages for "Building Your Audience for Music Professionals" and "Music Production: Crafting An Award-Worthy Song."

Meet 5 GRAMMY Nominees Who Started At GRAMMY U: From Boygenius Engineer Sarah Tudzin To Pentatonix’s Scott Hoying

Women's History Month 2024 Playlist Hero
(Clockwise, from top left): Jennie, Janelle Monáe, Anitta, Taylor Swift, Victoria Monét, Ariana Grande, Lainey Wilson

Photos (clockwise, from top left): Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Coachella, Paras Griffin/Getty Images, Lufre, MATT WINKELMEYER/GETTY IMAGES FOR THE RECORDING ACADEMY, Paras Griffin/Getty Images, JOHN SHEARER/GETTY IMAGES FOR THE RECORDING ACADEMY, Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy


Listen:'s Women's History Month 2024 Playlist: Female Empowerment Anthems From Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Jennie & More

This March, the Recording Academy celebrates Women's History Month with pride and joy. Press play on this official playlist that highlights uplifting songs from Taylor Swift, Victoria Monét, Anitta and more.

GRAMMYs/Mar 8, 2024 - 04:44 pm

From commanding stages to blasting through stereos, countless women have globally graced the music industry with their creativity. And though they've long been underrepresented, tides are changing: in just the last few years, female musicians have been smashing records left and right, conquering top song and album charts and selling sold-out massive tours.

This year, Women's History Month follows a particularly historic 66th GRAMMY Awards, which reflected the upward swing of female musicians dominating music across the board. Along with spearheading the majority of the ceremony's performances, women scored bigtime in the General Field awards — with wins including Best New Artist, Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Album Of The Year.

Female empowerment anthems, in particular, took home major GRAMMY gold. Miley Cyrus' "Flowers" took home two awards, while Victoria Monét was crowned Best New Artist thanks to the success of her album Jaguar II and its hit single "On My Mama." As those two songs alone indicate, female empowerment takes many different shapes in music — whether it's moving on from a relationship by celebrating self-love or rediscovering identity through motherhood.

The recent successes of women in music is a testament to the trailblazing artists who have made space for themselves in a male-dominated industry — from the liberating female jazz revolution of the '20s to the riot grrl movement of the '90s. Across genres and decades, the classic female empowerment anthem has strikingly metamorphosed into diverse forms of defiance, confidence and resilience.

No matter how Women's History Month is celebrated, it's about women expressing themselves, wholeheartedly and artistically, and having the arena to do so. And in the month of March and beyond, women in the music industry deserve to be recognized not only for their talent, but ambition and perseverance — whether they're working behind the stage or front-and-center behind the mic.

From Aretha Franklin's "RESPECT" to Beyoncé's "Run the World (Girls)," there's no shortage of female empowerment anthems to celebrate women's accomplishments in the music industry. Listen to's 2024 Women's History Month playlist on streaming services below.

Victoria Monet backstage at the 2024 GRAMMYs
Victoria Monét backstage at the 2024 GRAMMYs.

Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy


How The 2024 GRAMMYs Saw The Return Of Music Heroes & Birthed New Icons

Between an emotional first-time performance from Joni Mitchell and a slew of major first-time winners like Karol G and Victoria Monét, the 2024 GRAMMYs were unforgettably special. Revisit all of the ways both legends and rising stars were honored.

GRAMMYs/Feb 9, 2024 - 09:02 pm

After Dua Lipa kicked off the 2024 GRAMMYs with an awe-inspiring medley of her two new songs, country star Luke Combs followed with a performance that spawned one of the most memorable moments of the night — and one that exemplified the magic of the 66th GRAMMY Awards.

Combs was joined by Tracy Chapman, whose return to the stage marked her first public performance in 15 years. The two teamed up for her GRAMMY-winning hit "Fast Car," which earned another GRAMMY nomination this year thanks to Combs' true-to-form cover that was up for Best Country Solo Performance. The audience went wild upon seeing a resplendent, smiling Chapman strum her guitar, and it was evident that Combs felt the same excitement singing along beside her.

Chapman and Combs' duet was a powerful display of what the 2024 GRAMMYs offered: veteran musicians being honored and new stars being born.

Another celebrated musician who made a triumphant return was Joni Mitchell. Though the folk icon had won 10 GRAMMYs to date — including one for Best Folk Album at this year's Premiere Ceremony — she had never performed on the GRAMMYs stage until the 2024 GRAMMYs. Backed by a band that included Brandi Carlile, Allison Russell, Blake Mills, Jacob Collier, and other accomplished musicians, the 80-year-old singer/songwriter delivered a stirring (and tear-inducing) rendition of her classic song "Both Sides Now," singing from an ornate chair that added an element of regality.

Later in the show, Billy Joel, the legendary rock star who began his GRAMMY career in 1979 when "Just the Way You Are" won Record and Song Of The Year, used the evening to publicly debut his first single in 17 years, "Turn the Lights Back On." (He also closed out the show with his 1980 classic, "You May Be Right.") It was the latest event in Joel's long history at the show; past performances range from a 1994 rendition of "River of Dreams" to a 2022 duet of "New York State of Mind" with Tony Bennett. The crooner, who died in 2023, was featured in the telecast's In Memoriam section, where Stevie Wonder dueted with archival footage of Bennett. And Annie Lennox, currently in semi-retirement, paid tribute to Sinéad O'Connor, singing "Nothing Compares 2 You" and calling for peace.

Career-peak stars also furthered their own legends, none more so than Taylor Swift. The pop star made history at the 2024 GRAMMYs, claiming the record for most Album Of The Year wins by a single artist. The historic moment also marked another icon's return, as Celine Dion made an ovation-prompting surprise appearance to present the award. (Earlier in the night, Swift also won Best Pop Vocal Album for Midnights, announcing a new album in her acceptance speech. To date, Swift has 14 GRAMMYs and 52 nominations.)

24-time GRAMMY winner Jay-Z expanded his dominance by taking home the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award, which he accepted alongside daughter Blue Ivy. And just before Miley Cyrus took the stage to perform "Flowers," the smash single helped the pop star earn her first-ever GRAMMY, which also later nabbed Record Of The Year.

Alongside the longtime and current legends, brand-new talents emerged as well. Victoria Monét took home two GRAMMYs before triumphing in the Best New Artist category, delivering a tearful speech in which she looked back on 15 years working her way up through the industry. Last year's Best New Artist winner, Samara Joy, continued to show her promise in the jazz world, as she won Best Jazz Performance for "Tight"; she's now 3 for 3, after also taking home Best Jazz Vocal Album for Linger Awhile last year.

First-time nominee Tyla became a first-time winner — and surprised everyone, including herself — when the South African starlet won the first-ever Best African Music Performance GRAMMY for her hit "Water." boygenius, Karol G and Lainey Wilson were among the many other first-time GRAMMY winners that capped off major years with a golden gramophone (or three, in boygenius' case).

All throughout GRAMMY Week 2024, rising and emerging artists were even more of a theme in the lead-up to the show. GRAMMY House 2024 hosted performances from future stars, including Teezo Touchdown and Tiana Major9 at the Beats and Blooms Emerging Artist Showcase and Blaqbonez and Romy at the #GRAMMYsNextGen Party.

Gatherings such as A Celebration of Women in the Mix, Academy Proud: Celebrating LGBTQIA+ Voices, and the Growing Wild Independent Music Community Panel showcased traditionally marginalized voices and communities, while Halle Bailey delivered a GRAMMY U Masterclass for aspiring artists. And Clive Davis hosted his Pre-2024 GRAMMYs Gala, where stars new and old mingled ahead of the main event. 

From established, veteran artists to aspiring up-and-comers, the 2024 GRAMMYs were a night of gold and glory that honored the breadth of talent and creativity throughout the music industry, perfectly exemplifying the Recording Academy's goal to "honor music's past while investing in its future." If this year's proceedings were any indication, the future of the music industry is bright indeed. 

10 Must-See Moments From The 2024 GRAMMYs: Taylor Swift Makes History, Billy Joel & Tracy Chapman Return, Boygenius Manifest Childhood Dreams