The Recording Academy's Black Music Collective And Amazon Music Announce Scholarship Recipients For The "Your Future Is Now" Scholarship Program
The "Your Future Is Now" scholarship program, presented by the Recording Academy's Black Music Collective (BMC) and Amazon Music, awards three students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with $10,000 scholarships each
The Recording Academy's Black Music Collective (BMC) and partner Amazon Music today announced the recipients of their "Your Future Is Now" scholarship, which is aimed for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with the opportunity to learn all facets of the music industry. The recipients—Jawan Davidson from North Carolina Central University, Akeal Evans from Morehouse College, and Nyah Hardmon from Howard University—were announced during the BMC's national Black Music Month program, Protect Black Music… Preservation, Legacy and Protecting the History of Black Music, which took place Tuesday, June 29.
The scholarship, first announced on Feb. 22 during Black History Month, offers students the chance to receive $10,000 for the 2021/2022 school year and the opportunity to be part of a two-week immersive rotation program with Amazon Music department leads, providing each student a detailed look at their particular field of work at Amazon Music. To coincide with these scholarships, the BMC and Amazon Music will also award two HBCUs a $10,000 grant each for equipment for their music programs, which will be announced later this summer.
Additional highlights of Protect Black Music… Preservation, Legacy and Protecting the History of Black Music included remarks by Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer Valeisha Butterfield Jones; Executive Director, Washington D.C. Chapter and Executive Sponsor of the Black Music Collective Jeriel Johnson; and Recording Academy President/CEO Harvey Mason jr. The event also featured a spoken word performance by Chicago Chapter Trustee and BMC member J. Ivy and a special appearance by four-time GRAMMY winner H.E.R., who announced the scholarship recipients.
A panel of the same name featured founder of the Black Music History Library Jenzia Burgos; two-time GRAMMY winner, Patti LaBelle; NPR Reporter and Editor Sidney Madden; GRAMMY winner, GRAMMY Legend Awards and Lifetime Achievement recipient Smokey Robinson; and GRAMMY-winning artist Raphael Saadiq.
The Recording Academy's Black Music Collective is a group of prominent Black music creators and professionals who share the common goal of amplifying Black voices within the Recording Academy and the music community.
Learn more about the Recording Academy's Black Music Collective.
Underrepresented, Overworked & Underpaid: 7 Key Learnings From The Newly Published Women In The Mix Study
Released today, on International Women's Day, the Women In The Mix Study explores the employment experiences, job satisfaction, family decisions, and pathways women professionals take in the music industry
It perhaps shouldn't come as a shock that women working in a variety of professional fields face challenges unique to their gender. Those working in the American music industry are no exception.
The newly published Women In The Mix Study — released today by the Recording Academy, Arizona State University (ASU) and Berklee College of Music Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE) — explores the experiences and socioeconomic landscape of women and gender-expansive people working in music. Built on data from a 2019 study conducted by the Berklee College of Music, the Women In The Mix Study surveyed more than 1,600 professionals working in various capacities — from behind the scenes to center stage — and at all levels, with all ages, races and ethnicities responding.
The Women In The Mix Study explores demographic characteristics, employment experiences, career challenges, job satisfaction, family decisions, and pathways into the music industry. More than 1,000 respondents also provided suggestions for improving the climate for women in music.
Ultimately, the study is designed to influence advocates, allies and leaders in music to work toward a more inclusive and equitable industry, while amplifying women's voices.
"The Women In The Mix Study is a groundbreaking account of the realities and decisions that we as women working in music are publicly and privately making each day," Recording Academy Co-President Valeisha Butterfield Jones said. "By centering this study around active listening, learning and building solutions, we've armed the industry with valuable data about the barriers affecting women in music and how we can together take a stand."
"When trying to create meaningful change you have to speak directly to the people who will be most affected by that change and let them be a part of the conversation," Erin Barra, Director of Popular Music at ASU, added; Barra co-authored the study with Mako Fitts Ward, Ph.D.; Lisa M. Anderson, Ph.D.; and Alaysia M. Brown, M.S.
In celebration of International Women's Day, GRAMMY.com is taking a deep dive into some of the major findings of the Women In The Mix Study.
Women are underrepresented, overworked and underpaid
The Women In The Mix Study cites work from the University of Southern California's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, which found that women are severely underrepresented in the music industry, accounting for just 21.6 percent of artists, 12.6 percent of songwriters, and 2.6 percent of producers. The Initiative's annual Inclusion in the Recording Studio report found that there has been no meaningful increase in these numbers over the years.
More than half (57 percent) of Women In The Mix respondents work two or more jobs. Twenty-four percent work between 40-51 hours per week, while an additional 28 percent clock more than 50 hours per week.
Thirty-six percent of respondents earn less than $40,000 per year, and nearly half of them feel like they should be further along in their careers. Nearly half of the respondents who identify as music creators and/or performers reported making less than $40,000 a year.
Approximately 57 percent of music creators felt they should be further along in their career, compared to those working in music education (48.5 percent), event/tour production and management/promotion (41.7 percent), music business (37.4 percent), and music media and technology (32.9 percent).
Discrimination is prevalent — especially for gender-expansive respondents and women of color
Across all racial identities, 84 percent of respondents had faced discrimination. Seventy-seven percent felt they had been treated differently in the music industry because of their gender, while more than 56 percent believed their gender had affected their employment. Music creators and performers experienced this the most, with 65 percent experiencing discrimination. Sixty percent of respondents said they had been discriminated against for their age.
Gender-expansive respondents were less satisfied than those who identified as women by a 16 percent margin. They were twice as likely to make less than $40,000 per year and felt less comfortable in their workplace by a margin of almost 18 percent.
Women of color reported feeling the highest level of discomfort in the workplace and noted less workplace support. More than half of respondents of color felt they should be further along in their careers.
Career advancement is often prioritized over parenthood
Roughly one out of every two respondents said they chose not to have children or had fewer children than they wanted because of their careers. Respondents with children under the age of 18 represent slightly less than two out of every 10 women and gender-expansive people in the music industry.
People who make over $100,000 per year had a 27 percent likelihood of having children. Those earning less than $40,000 a year have a 15 percent likelihood of having children. Women of color are the most likely respondents to have children, though they still reported that their career was a factor in their decision-making around having or rearing children.
Work-life balance development should begin early
While less than half of respondents reported having an internship during their career, 78 percent felt internships contributed to their career.
However, since internships, particularly those in creative fields, are often unpaid, these opportunities may not be feasible for people without sufficient financial and/or supportive resources. Study respondents suggested paid internships as one method of addressing networking, access to opportunity, and work-life balance.
Respondents — many of whom are working more than 40 hours per week — noted that burnout is a significant challenge. Additional and/or mandatory paid days off would also improve work-life balance throughout the industry.
Mentorships and advocacy organizations are valuable
Ninety-three percent of respondents felt that mentoring had contributed to their career. These respondents were more likely to feel they were where they should be in their careers and reported feeling satisfied with their jobs. Respondents suggested that providing access to quality mentorship and mentors can have a profoundly positive effect on the careers of women and gender-expansive people.
Forty percent of respondents were members of advocacy organizations, while 35 percent of respondents cited professional or industry-related organizations as crucial factors to their growth and advancement. Roughly 20 percent mentioned advocacy in their recommendations to help improve the climate for women and gender-expansive people.
However, mentorship and networking are both largely built upon a person's interpersonal skill set, as well as their ability to negotiate and advocate for themselves. By bolstering soft skill development, while also building and strengthening institutional programs, support infrastructure, and active education, the music industry can improve business acumen for women and gender-expansive people early in the employment pipeline.
Organizations should take real action and spend money
Simply saying your business is committed to DEI isn't enough. Women In The Mix Study respondents suggested recruitment pledges — a commitment from hiring managers to recruit diverse and robust candidates — as a means of intentionally addressing access to opportunities and dismantling gatekeeper culture.
Addressing women's representation in music has been a longstanding priority for the Recording Academy. In 2019, the organization launched Women In The Mix, which prompted hundreds of music professionals and organizations to pledge to consider at least two women in the selection process every time a producer or engineer is hired. That same year, the Recording Academy pledged to double the number of women voters in its voting membership by 2025; the organization has reached 60 percent of that goal.
In 2021, the Recording Academy donated a total of $25,000 to five charities and organizations that support the growth of women and girls in production and engineering. Based on the Women In The Mix Study findings, and to help address issues surrounding access to resources and opportunities, the Academy has committed to donating an additional $50,000 to five organizations that support the growth of women and girls in music, including Beats By Girlz, Femme It Forward, Girls Make Beats, She Is The Music, and Women's Audio Mission.
Career satisfaction and passion for the music industry remain high
Despite the challenges around insufficient earnings, burnout, gatekeeper culture, sexism, and the competing demands of creative vision and generating revenue, 78 percent of Women In The Mix Study respondents reported feeling satisfied in their careers. Even in career categories that seem to face the most obstacles — such as freelancers and music creators and performers — more than 80 percent of respondents said they felt satisfied. Respondents working in event and tour production, management and promotion were the least satisfied, noting a 65 percent satisfaction rate.
Such satisfaction may be the result of inherent passion: Over half of respondents said that their pathway into their careers was through their inherent love for and excitement about the music industry.
Recording Academy Partners With Top Brands For The 2022 GRAMMYs
The Recording Academy has announced the official marketing partners for the 2022 GRAMMYs. Binance, IBM, Mastercard, OneOf, Grey Goose, Bulova, Hilton, SiriusXM, PEOPLE, FIJI Water, Frontera Wines, and United are all supporters of this year's GRAMMY Awards
The Recording Academy announced today its official marketing partners for 2022 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 64th GRAMMY Awards. Binance, IBM, Mastercard, OneOf, Grey Goose, Bulova, Hilton, SiriusXM, PEOPLE, FIJI Water, Frontera Wines, and United are all supporters of this year's GRAMMY Awards.
"We are excited to be working alongside these industry-leading brands for the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards," said Adam Roth, Senior Vice President of Partnerships & Business Development at the Recording Academy. "Music's Biggest Night wouldn't be possible without each and every one of our partners. With their participation, we are able to celebrate the music community and its creators in a new and exciting way that's never been done before. We hope fans watching the show in person and at home can join in on the celebration as we know this will be a night to remember."
Binance, the Official Cryptocurrency Exchange Partner, is the global blockchain company behind the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange and the first crypto partner of the GRAMMY Awards. Binance will bring Web3 technology solutions to the Academy.
IBM, the Official Cloud & Artificial Intelligence (AI) Partner of the GRAMMYs, is transforming the GRAMMY Live Pre-Show and grammy.com with "GRAMMY Insights with IBM Watson." The AI-powered solution analyzes more than 20 million news stories about nominees, generating surprising and engaging insights about your favorite artists. The insights are shared in real time as nominees walk the red carpet and served up to the artist profile pages on grammy.com, getting music fans closer to the artists they love.
Mastercard, the Official Finance Services Partner, is the preferred payments technology partner of the GRAMMY Awards. Just ahead of Music's Biggest Night, Mastercard is hosting the GRAMMY U Masterclass on April 1 featuring music video director Hannah Lux Davis.
OneOf, the Official NFT Partner, launched the first GRAMMY NFTs for the 64th GRAMMY Awards featuring collections from renowned artists Emonee LaRussa, Andre Oshea and ThankYouX. Collections are dropped each week leading up to the GRAMMY Awards beginning March 7 with the free 64th GRAMMYs NFT.
GREY GOOSE Vodka, our Official Spirits Partner, developed an all-new signature cocktail for this year's GRAMMYs, the GREY GOOSE Passion Drop. This specialty cocktail, which is a remix of the GREY GOOSE quintessential martini, will be featured at all our signature GRAMMY Week events and highlighted digitally on our GREY GOOSE Hub on GRAMMY.com, a curated destination for themed invites, GREY GOOSE cocktail recipes and watch party ideas. GREY GOOSE has also partnered with three of today's hottest artists (JoJo, Lucky Daye and Tinashe) for a limited digital series, GREY GOOSE x GRAMMYs: Monday Mix that premiered on March 14 and will air every Monday leading up to the GRAMMY Awards telecast. During GRAMMY Week, GREY GOOSE will also be highlighting their new line of vodkas infused with real fruit and botanicals, GREY GOOSE ESSENCES, during the GREY GOOSE ESSENCES x GRAMMYs: Sound Sessions featuring Tinashe.
Bulova, the Official Timepiece Partner, celebrates GRAMMY-nominated artists with an exclusive watch from their music-inspired GRAMMY Edition watch collection. First-time GRAMMY Award winners will be gifted with a limited-edition "GRAMMY Automatic" watch, infused with musical cues throughout and a "Circle of Fifths" dial design. The meticulously designed timepiece is constructed using the Recording Academy branded proprietary metal "GRAMMIUM."
Hilton, the Official Hotel Partner, is a returning longtime partner and host venue of the inaugural Recording Academy Honors Presented by the Black Music Collective.
SiriusXM, the Official US Radio Partner, is bringing The GRAMMY Channel back for its second year. The limited-run channel will feature a variety of music from this year's nominees across the GRAMMY Awards' 30 Fields, all leading up to the live broadcast of Music's Biggest Night. The GRAMMY Channel will run for a limited time only from March 23 through April 6 on channel 105.
PEOPLE, the Official Magazine Partner, will be broadcasting from the GRAMMYs with a live pre-show. Hosted by Jeremy Parsons and Janine Rubenstein, Red Carpet Live: 64th Annual Grammy Awards will feature interviews with the world's leading performers and nominees. PEOPLE & Entertainment Weekly Red Carpet Live will stream at 6:30 p.m. ET on people.com, ew.com and their social platforms.
FIJI Water, the Official Water Partner, will be on hand at the GRAMMY Red Carpet to hydrate attendees, executives and talent as they stop for photos and interviews with media. FIJI Water will also be the official water brand at the GRAMMY Week events leading up to Music's Biggest Night, ensuring everyone has the chance to enjoy Earth's Finest Water.
Frontera Wines, the Official Wine Partner of the GRAMMY Awards, 12th most powerful wine brand worldwide and #1 Chilean wine brand in the US, will be pouring across select events. The Recording Academy will exclusively work with Frontera to highlight specific Frontera varietals and amplify the partnership through social posts across all channels.
United, the Official Airline Partner, will be providing travel accommodations for the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards.
For more information on official GRAMMY Awards partners, please visit:
The Recording Academy will present the 2022 GRAMMYs on Sunday, April 3, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, on the CBS Television Network and streaming live and on demand on Paramount+ from 8–11:30 p.m. ET / 5–8:30 p.m. PT. Prior to the telecast, the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony will be streamed live on live.grammy.com and the Recording Academy's YouTube channel. Additional details about the dates and locations of other official GRAMMY Week events are available here. Learn more about How To Watch The 2022 GRAMMYs Awards Show and get excited about the full 2022 GRAMMYs nominations list. For more GRAMMYs coverage, updates and breaking news, please visit the Recording Academy's social networks on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.
Black Sounds Beautiful: How Beyoncé Has Empowered The Black Community Across Her Music And Art
In the debut episode of GRAMMY.com's Black Sounds Beautiful series, learn about the many ways in which Beyoncé's words, music and initiatives have celebrated and elevated the Black community
Beyoncé doesn't only loom large in American culture just because of her hits. Although her musical accomplishments are staggering—at 28 GRAMMY wins, she holds the record for most GRAMMYs won by a woman—Beyoncé's ongoing commitment to uplifting and celebrating the Black community has become a key part of her legacy.
This goes beyond her empowering songs—it's in her public statements and art, too.
In the debut episode of GRAMMY.com's Black Sounds Beautiful series, a special series honoring Black music and culture in all its forms, learn about the many ways in which Beyoncé's words, music and initiatives have celebrated and elevated the Black community and how she remains a steadfast fighter for the accomplishments of Black people everywhere.
"It's important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty, so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror—first through their own families as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House, and the GRAMMYs—and see themselves and have no doubt that they're beautiful, intelligent and capable," Beyoncé said in an acceptance speech at the 59th GRAMMY Awards in 2017.
"As an artist, I believe it's my job, and all of our jobs, to reflect the times," she said in her GRAMMY acceptance speech this past March. "... So, I wanted to uplift, encourage and celebrate all of the beautiful Black queens and kings that continue to inspire me and inspire the whole world."
She's continued to do exactly that throughout her entire career.
In 2018, Beyoncé headlined Coachella, becoming the first-ever Black woman artist to headline the festival. She used the history-making moment as a platform to celebrate Black culture, inviting performers from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to the Coachella stage and mixing in vocal snippets of Black icons like Malcolm X and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Her 2020 GRAMMY-nominated music film, Black Is King, is a "love letter" to Black men. The film is the visual counterpart to The Lion King: The Gift, a 2019 soundtrack album curated by Beyoncé that spotlights African and Afrobeats artists like Wizkid, Burna Boy, Mr Eazi and many others.
Check out the strengthening clip above and watch out for more episodes of Black Sounds Beautiful as GRAMMY.com's Black Music Month celebrations proceed throughout June.
Photo: Peter Forest/Getty Images
Essence Fest: 7 Female R&B Acts You Need To Know
The annual music event introduces a slew of rising R&B stars
Essence Fest is the ultimate celebration of Black women and music. And while it manifests that mission through dynamic headline shows featuring some of music’s biggest acts (Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott and Erykah Badu), it also serves as a major introduction for a slew of up and coming artists. And this year was certainly nothing different. Over the course of the three day event, we have spotted seven rising female acts whose music you need to explore right now.
The summer (and in part Essence Fest) belongs to Ella Mai. Her chart-topping breakout single “Boo’d Up” has induced instant sing-a-longs all week, and the recent release of a remix featuring Nicki Minaj and Quavo of The Migos, shows that the British R&B singer is not slowing down.
If you’re a New Orleans native, Denisia is certainly not a new artist. She first garnered mainstream attention back in 2015 when she was featured on YaBoyBigChoo’s cover of Adele’s hit “Hello”, remixed in the locally popular bounce music style.
The mysterious R&B singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose identity at one point didn’t go beyond a shadow and silhouette, is fully stepping into the spotlight---albeit with her face still slightly concealed by oversized sunglasses. After her soul-stirring performance at the 2018 BET Awards went viral, H.E.R. (an acronym for "Having Everything Revealed") hit the Essence Fest Superlounge to a massive crowd.
A student at the esteemed Berklee College of Music in Boston, rising songstress Yanina made her Essence Fest debut this year. Currently working on a yet-to-be-titled EP, she is making her mark thanks to her powerhouse voice, dancing ability and a striking stage presence.
Groups formed via reality shows typically have a shelf-life that expires at the end of a TV season. But every so often there are exceptions. Enter June’s Diary. Formed on the Kelly Rowland-executive produced BET show Chasing Destiny, this talented line-up of singers have the harmonies, moves, and style that puts them on par with the great girl groups of the past.
Mykia Jovan is proving to be a name bubbling in the progressive soul music scene. The New Orleans native’s unique vocal quality has been compared to the likes of Erykah Badu and the late great Billie Holiday. Her debut album Elliyahu is currently available at mykiajovan.com.
After one hears Victory Boyd’s voice, it becomes clear why Jay-Z signed the New Jersey-native to his Roc Nation music label after hearing her perform just two songs. Many have placed her vocally in the lane of Tracy Chapman, Roberta Flack, and Nina Simone. However, her approach to soul and folk music is so fresh and youthful, that she is in a lane of her own.