Photos: The Perfect Subject
How The Recording Academy & United Airlines Supported HBCU Students Through An Immersive GRAMMY Week Experience: "A Life-Changing Experience"
At the 2023 GRAMMYs, the Recording Academy, with support from United Airlines, elevated Black and Brown students attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) by providing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for students to learn and grow.
As we continue to honor Black Music Month this June, the Recording Academy is proudly producing uplifting content and inclusive programming across the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) space all month long. With support from our partners at United Airlines, the official airline partner of the GRAMMY Awards, the Academy's Black Music Collective is today celebrating Black and Brown students attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
Through this partnership, now in its second year, United recently provided air transportation for a select group of HBCU students to attend professional development programming in New York, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. The immersive events across the nation and have helped propel their burgeoning careers in the music industry.
The Recording Academy, along with its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team and the Black Music Collective, culminated this past year of programming with a once-in-a-lifetime experience: Made possible by United, 10 HBCU students from across the U.S. were gifted travel to attend the 2023 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 65th GRAMMY Awards, and the coinciding, week-long GRAMMY Week celebration in Los Angeles.
While in Los Angeles, these students assisted with the production of the 2nd annual Recording Academy Honors Presented By The Black Music Collective event during GRAMMY Week. They also attended the event as guests, representing their HBCUs while walking the beloved Black carpet.
To expand their learning, the students also experienced a private tour of the GRAMMY Museum, watched an industry panel featuring six-time GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter The-Dream, and attended the first-ever GRAMMY House event.
Below, watch the students experience the immersive GRAMMY Week 2023 program in full and hear directly from them about their HBCU education, career aspirations, and the lessons they learned from this remarkable, unique initiative.
Through this immersive experience, the students had numerous opportunities to build their network with music industry professionals and develop essential skills that bolstered their rising careers within the industry.
"Being a part of the Recording Academy, I not only know more about the industry, but have gained extended family in the process," Jasmine Gordon, a sophomore at Spelman College, said of her experience during GRAMMY Week.
"The experience has just been surreal. Being in this environment at such a young age is a life-changing experience," Jayden Potts, a freshman at Jackson State University, added.
The Recording Academy sends a heartfelt thank-you to United Airlines for their partnership and help in providing opportunities for the next generation of Black leaders and changemakers in the music industry.
With reporting from DeMarco White, Client Services Manager, Partnerships & Business Development at the Recording Academy.
Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images
Here's What Happened At The Black Music Collective’s Recording Academy Honors 2024 GRAMMY Event Celebrating Mariah Carey & Lenny Kravitz
The power of staying true to yourself was at the center of the 2024 GRAMMY Week event. Honorees Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz were lauded by colleagues and performers, including Stevie Wonder, Quavo, Babyface and Andra Day.
On a wet but buzzing Thursday evening ahead of the 2024 GRAMMYs, leading lights in the music industry gathered for the third annual Recording Academy Honors Presented By The Black Music Collective. Along the event's black carpet, stars and industry insiders were showing out — taking photos, reconnecting with friends and collaborators, and chatting with the press.
The official 2024 GRAMMY Week event was held Feb. 1 — the first day of Black History Month — at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles and was sponsored by Amazon Music and City National Bank. Each year, BMC presents its Global Impact Award to legendary musicians advancing the culture, and 2024’s honorees Lenny Kravitz and Mariah Carey, loomed over the entire evening before they'd even arrived.
Flava Flav, sporting his patented clock necklace, was also hyped about the evening. "It means everything to be at the GRAMMYs tonight. This is big," Flav told GRAMMY.com. The rapper then spoke about the two transcendent stars being honored. "I feel real big about the honorees. Mariah Carey, always been proud of her and I love her songs…Lenny Kravitz is my dude. That’s my man. So congratulations Lenny!"
The significance of the event was felt from the first foot set on the black carpet. Afrobeats star Fireboy DML weighed in on the importance of the night. "I’m honored. It feels good. It’s always important to be in spaces like this," Fireboy told GRAMMY.com, adding that he's excited about his upcoming fourth album. "It’s important for the culture."
As attendees inside the jam-packed ballroom room eagerly awaited the main guests of the night, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. spoke about the momentum being built through Black Music Collective.
"[Last year] I spoke how great it was to be holding the second annual BMC event. To me it meant we established a new tradition. And now the tradition proudly continues," Mason Jr. told the audience, emphasizing how the influence of Black culture can be found in all corners of the world and across musical genres.
A performance by Nigerian superstar Davido, a first-time GRAMMY nominee, spoke to the power of musical diversity in the Academy and BMC. Although the crowd had sat down with their appetizers, many stood up to vibe out as Davido performed his nominated song, "Unavailable."
By the time Andra Day, adorned in a bright red leather coat, got to the end of her rendition of "Strange Fruit" with support from trumpeter Keyon Harrold, everyone in the ballroom was on their feet. It was a great moment for Day, whose cover of Billie Holiday’s 1939 cry for justice hammered home the connection between Black artists across different genres and across time.
Gabby Samone garnered the second standing ovation of the night for her take on Nina Simone’s "Four Women." Simone has had a number of major cosigns as her star has grown brighter, and her fans include Jennifer Hudson and none other than Mariah Carey. Samone's performance was followed by a powerful song from Erica Campbell, whose I Love You is nominated for Best Gospel Album this year.
A set from DJ Mannie Fresh, Kravitz took the stage to receive the first BMC Global Impact Award of the night. Introduced by mentee H.E.R, she talked about "American Woman’s" genre-bending influence on her own career and Kravitz's own influence from childhood. "The fashion, the confidence, the badass walk, and the killer vocals made me at six years old say to my dad ‘I wanna play guitar.’ ‘I wanna be a rockstar.’ ‘I wanna be like Lenny Kravitz,’" H.E.R. said.
She then listed off some of Kravitz’s other accomplishments including working on "Rustin," the new Netflix film about critical civil rights architect Bayard Rustin, as well as Kravitz’s work in philanthropy through his Let Love Rule Foundation.
Once the din died down, Kravitz took a trip back to childhood, too. He shared how, when he went to go see the Jackson 5 with his family, and was so hooked that he dreamed of becoming part of the storied troupe. "I fantasized that I was their long lost brother and turned the Jackson 5 into the Jackson 6," he said.
Kravitz also spoke the various genres of music that helped mold him, drawn from many different corners. From his "grandfather’s block in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn," where he "witnessed the birth of hip-hop," to being shaped by legends like Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye and Nina Simone. He also shouted out his godmother, the late great actress Cicely Tyson.
In a particularly cool mashup of genre and generation, Quavo provided vocals to "Fly Away," flanked by P-funk all star George Clinton, Earth, Wind & Fire bassist Verdine White, and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. At the end of the performance, Kravitz went over to each performer and hugged them.
After a brief intermission, record producer and BMC Chair Rico Love shouted out leadership, including the Recording Academy board of trustees and Ryan Butler, Vice President of DEI. Love spoke about Black Music Collective as a space where everyone can feel at home. "The life of a creator is so hard. And lonely. That’s why it’s valuable to build community," he emphasized.
Black Music Collective’s scholarship program, in collaboration with Amazon Music, Love said, will once again support HBCU students who aspire to be in the next generation of music industry power players. In 2023, scholarships were awarded to students at Florida A&M University, Texas Southern University, Norfolk State University, among others. Love recalls the mentors he had when he was coming up and is glad BMC is also paying it forward.
Last night’s program found one of the few people on the planet that even Mariah Carey might be star struck by. Before the pop legend received her Global Impact Award, Stevie Wonder appeared and sat down over a keyboard.
"Very excited to be here to celebrate someone that has been a friend and I’ve been a fan of since the very beginning of hearing her voice," he said, before serenading Carey with "I Just Called to Say I Love You," ending the rendition with "I love you, I love you, you are my hero."
Mariah Carey was seemingly surprised and star-struck herself. Once she overcame the awe, Carey detailed the pressure she faced early in her career to avoid leaning into Black music. "When I first started in the music business, I was often told to ‘conform’ to certain expectations. I was not encouraged to focus on my love for Black music," she told the crowd.
Later, some of Carey’s other friends and collaborators performed, including Babyface, who once sang backing vocals on Carey’s "Melt Away." (Carey then returned the favor by singing on "Every Time I Close My Eyes.") Another Carey collaborator, Busta Rhymes, performed crowd favorite "I Know What You Want" and offered sincere thanks to Carey for her boldness and desire to "run with the wolves." Tori Kelly also sang "Vision of Love" during this segment and earlier in the night, gospel legend Yolanda Adams performed "Make It Happen." The third annual Recording Academy Honors/BMC event certainly did make it happen, as attendees flooded out of the ballroom and into the streets pumped with pride.
Head to live.GRAMMY.com all year long to watch all the GRAMMY performances, acceptance speeches, the GRAMMY Live From The Red Carpet livestream special, the full Premiere Ceremony livestream, and even more exclusive, never-before-seen content from the 2024 GRAMMYs.
Photo: Anna Webber / Getty Images
Inside The Inaugural Gold Music Alliance GRAMMY Week Reception, Highlighting Growth And Visibility Within The Music Industry
The Recording Academy's new GRAMMY Week event, presented in collaboration with Gold House and Pacific Bridge Arts Foundation, celebrated Pan-Asian contributions to the music industry and beyond.
In the midst of GRAMMY Week, The Recording Academy, Gold House and Pacific Bridge Arts Foundation came together for the first-ever Gold Music Alliance reception — an intimate, yet powerful celebration of the Pan-Asian community's vast contributions to the music industry.
"This is the first gathering, but it's definitely not going to be the last," promised Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, in opening remarks at the Jan. 31 event, which was held at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Century City, California. "We're going to continue to grow, we're going to continue to evolve. This organization and this group of constituents, music makers — it's going to be a powerful platform to make a difference. The importance of this group is so the Academy can listen and learn and understand."
As the son of Harvey Mason Sr. — the acclaimed jazz drummer from Fourplay and original drummer of Herbie Hancock's The Headhunters — Mason jr.'s entire life has revolved around music. Even though he's always been immersed in sound, Mason jr. understands that he needs to keep his ears open to other perspectives within the industry.
"We don't know everything that's going on in every group of music makers or music people," he said, "so having different groups being able to get together, have insight and give us feedback — how can we serve better? How can we represent your group, your constituency, your community better? We need to understand what's missing, what's lacking, how can we get it better?"
Harvey Mason jr. speaking with guests at the Gold Music Alliance Reception on Jan. 31, 2024 | Anna Webber / Getty Images
"Thank you, Harvey, for listening," said Jonathan Yip, who is currently serving as a Trustee, and is the first AAPI+ Trustee elected to the Recording Academy's National Board of Trustees from the Los Angeles Chapter. "You nailed it! That is exactly what we need. We need allies and, with you and the Recording Academy backing us and what we're trying to do here, it means everything to us. So thank you very much for that.
"When I first moved out to LA in 2001, I worked at a couple different record labels, and when I would go in there, I didn't see anybody that looked like me," Yip, a two-time GRAMMY winner for his producing work as part of Stereotypes on "That's What I Like" by Bruno Mars, which took home golden gramophones for Song Of The Year and Best R&B Song in 2018, added. "But, what I did notice 20 years forward, I see a lot, and I think the growth of our community within the music industry is something to be proud of."
Yip acknowledged how important it is to have the Recording Academy's support in pushing the Gold Music Alliance initiative, which he said will "help bridge the gaps in the future and the younger people in our community to give them opportunities to be creative." And the GRAMMY Week reception wasn't just impactful because of the promise in the room, but because it's a moment that the community has long hoped for.
"We've all been in the music industry where we've always wanted a voice, we've always wanted that visibility," Yip noted. "So for us to be here, to be able to reach out to the community and let them know that it's accessible, that we're here and we have a voice — that to me is a huge moment."
With its mission grounded in lifting Asian founders, creative voices, and leaders, Gold House has played a pivotal role in working with major media companies to help reshape screens in TV and film, with successes like Beef and Everything Everywhere All at Once. Now, the nonprofit organization is bringing its passion to the music business by sponsoring the Inaugural Gold Music Alliance GRAMMY Week reception.
"We all know that awards are so critically important to all of our creative industries, and voting bodies have historically looked very singular," noted Gold House CEO Bing Chen. "So we are so excited to be able to diversify, not just for representation, but for creative excellence, the next waves of artists, producers, musicians and companies."
DJ Virman at the Gold Music Alliance Reception on Jan. 31, 2024 | Anna Webber / Getty Images
As Frankie Yaptinchay, Amazon Music's Senior Product Manager, Audience Development & Creative Partnerships, added, the hope and vision of the Gold Music Alliance is that it will be around for generations to come.
"I think the big thing the Gold Music Alliance is doing is we want to build accessibility," said Yaptinchay, who also serves as governor of the Pacific Northwest chapter of the Recording Academy. "We want to build accessibility, for not only us and the creators, and executives, but for the next generation. We want to use the vehicle that the Recording Academy has built and the prestige and share that with our community. I think this is our time to be visible, our time to speak up, and I'm really really excited we can do this.”
"We are all about uplifting the next generation in music," agreed Annie Lam, executive director of Pacific Bridge Arts Foundation. The nonprofit was founded by Far East Movement, the first Asian-American group to top the Billboard Hot 100 charts with their 2010 party hit "Like a G6". The group's Kev Nish is integrated in every aspect of the event, serving as PBA's Chair of the Board and founder, a Gold House board member, and the Recording Academy's Los Angeles Chapter Governor; his bandmate DJ Virman provided the musical accompaniment for the reception.
"The work that we do is really shaped by their journey and experiences," Lam continued, highlighting some of their programs, including The Bridging Arts Talk, which features GRAMMY nominees, GRAMMY winners and music executives. "We are so proud that all of these leaders are part of our network to give back, because we know the value of mentorship and how important they are and we are working step by step to knock down those barriers. We're still fighting the good fight and hope that you will continue to work with us to keep up with the movement."
Before the event came to a close, Grace Jun Baca, Recording Academy Director of Governance, Member & Industry Relations, expressed her thanks for those who helped make the event a success.
"Tonight was made possible because of the support of Ryan Butler, VP DEI and DEI's DREAM (Diversity Reimagined by Engaging All Musicmakers) Initiative, serving underrepresented groups at the Academy, and of course the ultimate green light from CEO Harvey Mason, jr. Like Harvey said, this is only the beginning. There's much more to come!"
Photo courtesy of Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey To Receive Global Impact Award At Recording Academy Honors Presented By The Black Music Collective
The third annual GRAMMY Week event will take place on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, at the Fairmount Century Plaza.
Mariah Carey might be a winner of five golden gramophones, and a nominee for 34 — but her recognition by the Recording Academy doesn't stop there.
The global pop icon has been announced as one of this year's Recording Academy Global Impact Award Honorees. Carey will be honored with the Recording Academy Global Impact Award, a CEO Merit Award that recognizes Black music creators whose dedication to the art form has greatly influenced the industry and whose legacy of service inspires countless individuals worldwide, celebrating those who, through leadership and passion, empower others to embrace their authentic selves and contribute to positive change.
Carey is the second of three Recording Academy Global Impact Award Honorees to be announced. Just yesterday, four-time GRAMMY Award winner Lenny Kravitz was unveiled as the first 2024 Recording Academy Global Impact Award Honoree; one more honoree will be announced on Thurs, Feb. 1, 2024.
Music executive and renowned photographer Lenny S will curate the Icons Gallery at the event, a captivating art activation paying tribute to generations of influential Black music icons.
Adam Blackstone will return for the third consecutive year as music supervisor of the Black Music Collective event. MVD Inc will also return for the third consecutive year to produce the event.
The third annual Recording Academy Honors, sponsored by Amazon Music and City National Bank, will take place just days before Music's Biggest Night, with Amazon Music returning as a sponsor for a third consecutive year.
Live from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles and hosted by Trevor Noah, Music's Biggest Night will be broadcast live on Sun, Feb. 4, 2024, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on the CBS Television Network and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.
Prior to the Telecast, the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony will be broadcast live from the Peacock Theater at 12:30 p.m. PT and will be streamed live on live.GRAMMY.com.
The 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be produced by Fulwell 73 Productions for the Recording Academy for the fourth consecutive year. Ben Winston, Raj Kapoor and Jesse Collins are executive producers.
Keep checking this space for all things Mariah Carey and the 2024 GRAMMYs!
Images courtesy of the 2024 Music Educator Award finalists; Graphic courtesy of the GRAMMY Museum
10 Finalists Announced For The 2024 Music Educator Award
The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum have announced 10 music teachers as the finalists for the 2024 Music Educator Award, which recognizes current educators who have made a significant contribution and demonstrate a commitment to music education.
The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum today announced a total of 10 music teachers as finalists for the 2024 Music Educator Award, the annual honor that recognizes current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the music education field and who also demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. The 10 finalists, who hail from 10 cities across nine states, were selected from more than 2,000 initial nominations submitted from across all 50 U.S. states. See the full list of the 2024 Music Educator Award finalists below.
Each year, one Music Educator Award recipient is selected from 10 finalists and recognized for their remarkable impact on students' lives. The selected recipient will receive a $10,000 honorarium and matching grant for their school's music program. The nine additional finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium and matching grants. The remaining 15 semifinalists will receive a $500 honorarium with matching school grants.
The ultimate recipient of the 2024 Music Educator Award will be recognized during GRAMMY Week 2024, just days before the 2024 GRAMMYs take place. Quarterfinalists for the 2024 Music Educator Award were announced in May; semifinalists were announced in October.
2024 MUSIC EDUCATOR AWARD FINALISTS:
|Pleasant Valley High School
|Ipswich Middle and High School
|P.S. 103 Hector Fontanez School
|KIPP Nashville Collegiate High School
|Briarcrest Christian School
|Coty Raven Morris
|Portland State University
|Annandale High School
|Oswego High School
|Meridian Early College High School
An established partnership between the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum, the Music Educator Award is open to current U.S. music teachers. Anyone can nominate a teacher: students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans, and administrators. Teachers are also able to nominate themselves. Nominated teachers are notified and invited to fill out an application.
The Music Educator Award program, including honorariums, is made possible by the generosity and support of the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation. In addition, the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, NAMM Foundation, and National Education Association support this program through outreach to their constituencies.