meta-scriptYour Future Is Now: Music Industry Executives Discuss The Benefits Of Historically Black Colleges And Universities | GRAMMY.com
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(L-R) Otaniyuwa Ehue, Elijah Russell, Kyla Graham, Chris Timothy, Teah England, and MOR attend HBCU Love Tour Talent Showcase at Howard University

Photo: Brian Stukes/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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Your Future Is Now: Music Industry Executives Discuss The Benefits Of Historically Black Colleges And Universities

From Interscope Records' Tim Glover to Warner Records' Julian Petty, GRAMMY.com gathered a group of music industry executives to discuss their HBCU experience

GRAMMYs/May 16, 2022 - 10:28 pm

Updated Friday, April 14, 2023, to include information about the 2023 "Your Future Is Now" scholarship program and to update job titles.

Black creatives, from songwriters to engineers, form the music industry's backbone. To ensure their passions and successes are given a platform, the Recording Academy's Black Music Collective (BMC), a group of prominent Black music creators and professionals, are striving to amplify Black voices.

The BMC aims to create a safe space for the next generation of Black creatives and professionals — both within the Recording Academy and the music industry at large. That’s why they collaborated with Amazon Music to launch the "Your Future Is Now" scholarship program. First announced last year during Black History Month, "Your Future Is Now" is a multi-year mentorship and scholarship program that aims to provide select students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) the opportunity to learn and explore all facets of the music industry. The program, which returns this month for the for the third consecutive year, offers select students currently enrolled at a HBCU networking opportunities with music industry leaders as well as an immersive rotation program with Amazon Music and Recording Academy department leads, an experience that will provide each student a detailed look at different fields across the music industry.

This year, the BMC and Amazon Music will select five HBCU students to take part in the "Your Future Is Now" scholarship program; each student will be awarded a $10,000 scholarship. In addition, the BMC and Amazon Music will award two HBCUs $10,000 grants each for equipment for their music programs.

In honor of the return of the "Your Future Is Now" program, GRAMMY.com spoke with key players in the music industry about their personal experiences attending various HBCUs, and the growth they'd like to see within the community.

Applications for the "Your Future Is Now" scholarship program are open now. The deadline to apply for the scholarship is Friday, April 28. Selected scholarship recipients will be announced on Monday, May 8.

Photo of Mike Hamilton Jr.

**Mike Hamilton Jr. (SVP, Streaming & Commerce,Def Jam Recordings)**

**Studied Communications at Howard University, Graduation Year: 2012**

What do HBCUs offer in terms of unique education and experience?

The most invaluable quality that's found at HBCUs is the family atmosphere. You're not your student ID number. Professors, staff, faculty, etc. take real investment in students. They know you — and sometimes even your family members — by name. That's almost unheard of at the higher education level.

You also are immersed in the full range and diversity of Black people from different regions of the U.S. and the world at large. Along with those, the network and lifelong relationships you build with friends and classmates, as well as the common bond you have with graduates of other HBCUs, are things that I wouldn't trade for the world.

What are some key reasons why students should consider attending HBCUs?

You don't just receive an education at an HBCU; it's the full experience that separates it from other institutions. Rap cyphers on the Yard, homecomings, the gospel choir, the bands, fine arts, Greek life, the campus being the equivalent of a daily fashion show are just some of the elements that make HBCU culture extremely unique.

Additionally, in a world that constantly reminds Black people that we are "other[ed]," there's a safety in knowing that for four or five years you're not constantly being reminded of your Blackness in ways that are racist and oppressive. You are who you are and the HBCU environment instills confidence in you that allows you to navigate every space you occupy even after that "safety net" is gone.

What are some experiences or knowledge you attained at your HBCU that impacted your career?

The power of networking and really hustling to make things happen. Howard hit us over the head with that from day one, and it's the most impactful tool I took away from my experience there. My first full-time job in the business was as an assistant at Atlantic Records. I got the job through a reference from an executive there (shout-out to Sydney Margetson, also an HU alum) who I met at a panel at my Howard freshman dorm. We stayed in contact and when the assistant job became available in the brand partnerships department, he referred me to Camille Hackney who hired me on the spot after my second interview. I also worked closely with Joi Brown (another HU alum) while in the department.

There are so many Howard and other HBCU alumni in the music business. That common grind spirit is something that we all relate to. I think that's why so many of us have been successful in this industry. You have to have a certain level of determination in order to make a name for yourself in music, no matter what side of the business you're on. Whether you have the resources to do it or not, you learn how to be resourceful. HBCUs prepare you for that.

What growth or developments would you like to see happen at HBCUs to take things to the next level?

I'd love to see more partnerships between HBCUs and various music companies that help facilitate a real education and deep learning process so that students fully understand the range of opportunities that exist in our industry. It's no secret that the music business (like many other fields) has a diversity problem. And there are so many talented kids on these campuses who could become the next wave of incredible executives, talent managers and more if they were more exposed to opportunities and granted the chance to learn about them from [alumni].

And I don't mean just partnering with certain HBCUs. It's so common for everyone to only do things at Howard, Spelman and Morehouse. I'm from North Carolina where there's not much of a music scene; it's grown a lot since I graduated high school and we're seeing more artists come out of NC now. But had I not gone to Howard and been able to tap into that network, I'm not sure I'd be where I am now. Students who opt to attend HBCUs that aren't in major cities like D.C. or Atlanta should still have access to the networking opportunities that I did. I'd like to see that happen on a much wider scale. And I'm happy to be part of it myself.

Timothy Glover Image

**Timothy Glover (SVP A&R, Interscope Records)**

**Studied Marketing at Howard University; Graduation Year: 2006**

*Photo courtesy of Timothy Glover*

What do HBCUs offer in terms of unique education and experience?

Howard University School of Business is an accredited business school with a great business program. Howard allowed me to evaluate real businesses and taught me how to carry myself. They kept us professional and gave us information that prepared us for the real world.

What are some key reasons why students should consider attending HBCUs?

Attending Howard, I was around people that looked like me. I think it helped make me become a more social person [in that I] gained long-lasting relationships with students in different industries. That same network transferred over to my professional career. Many people who I went to school with are in the same industry and we immediately have that connection, even if we weren't at Howard during the same years.

What are some experiences or knowledge you attained from your HBCU experience that impacted your career? 

I learned how to put together business plans, interacted with African-American faculty and learned the skills needed to feel comfortable in any room.

What growth or developments would you like to see happen at HBCUs to take things to the next level?

I would love to see more music courses in all HBCUs. When I was at Howard I was constantly looking for ways to learn the music business. In addition to the music courses, it would be great if these programs were connected with labels to really give these students an opportunity to work across UMG, Warner, Sony, etc.

Kienon Johnson

**Keinon Johnson (Senior Vice President, Interscope Records)**

**Studied Mass Media Arts at Clark Atlanta University; Graduation Year: 1997**

*Photo by Harold Daniels*

What do HBCUs offer in terms of education and experience that is unique?

My experience at Clark Atlanta University provided a space for young Black students like myself to feel secure in the familiarity of our shared experiences while pursuing our education.

What are some key reasons why students should consider attending HBCUs?

The sense of community and finding your tribe is without question a uniquely HBCU experience. Many of the relationships I built during my time at CAU are even stronger today in regards to both business and friendship.

What are some experiences or knowledge you attained at your HBCU that impacted your career?

The relationships you cultivate in college, while you and your peers are all broke and figuring who you are and will become, are the same relationships that will enrich your life after college is over. There's something about struggling together, learning together, becoming together at an HBCU that bonds you for life.

What growth or developments would you like to see happen at HBCUs to take things to the next level?

I would love to see more investment in all HBCUs across the country to modernize them and provide them with the top resources available, which will keep them competitive with other institutions of higher learning. I think all things being equal, the experiences you gain while attending an HBCU are priceless. It would be amazing if the lesser-known schools outside of Atlanta, D.C. and VA received more sustained funding from private and public donors.

Trakgirl

**Shakari "TRAKGIRL" Linder (Music Producer/Entrepreneur/Founder, TRAKGIRL/The 7/NO ADTNL)**

**Studied Business at Hampton University; Graduation Year: 2010s (note: undisclosed years)**

*Photo by Barron Bazemore*

What do HBCUs offer in terms of education and experience that is unique?

Hampton provided life lessons that I was able to utilize in my daily life, such as holding yourself to a high standard. Both in life and as a creative, we should hold ourselves in that nature. Hampton gave me an opportunity to find and know myself. That's something a book can't teach you.

What are some key reasons why students should consider attending HBCUs?

The alumni network is golden at an HBCU. When you go out in the world it's nothing like meeting someone who has a similar foundation as you. It's also amazing to see people who look like you with so many different ideas and perspectives. It's like being on a special island.

What are some experiences or knowledge you attained from your HBCU that impacted your career?

My career is bigger than just music. Building a legacy and leaving the blueprint for others after you to thrive is something Hampton helped grow inside me. Giving back to my people and community is far greater than just being in the studio. Let's create our own legacy. Ownership is key for us. Again, [these are] principles that HBCU culture enhances.

What growth or developments would you like to see happen at HBCUs to take things to the next level?

I want everything at a high level for my HBCUs. Every resource that PWIs [Predominantly White Institutions] have, HBCUs should have — we deserve that standard. Also, updated campus facilities that include state-of-the-art studios and programs/courses focused on financial literacy for music creatives.

Rachel Jackson

**Rachel "Rachie" Jackson (Artist Relations Manager, YouTube Music)**

**Studied Business Marketing & Psychology at Clark Atlanta University; Graduation Year: 2013**

*Photo courtesy of Rachel Jackson*

What do HBCUs offer in terms of education and experience that is unique?

HBCUs present a unique opportunity for Black students to discover that we are in no way culturally homogenized. Out of the 107 HBCUs, there are clusters of them that are top 10, 5 or even No. 1 in specialized fields such as Business, Health, Agriculture, STEM, Criminal Justice, and more. Additionally, there is nothing like an HBCU homecoming!

What are some key reasons why students should consider attending HBCUs? 

The scholarly pride, support, life-long bonds and networking opportunities that come from HBCUs are a few underrated additives that come along with attending. There have been so many times where I was chosen for an opportunity or included in a program that helped my career grow because of having CAU on my resume. It set me so far apart from my competition.

The HBCU alumni base looks out for and encourages growth in all aspects when they come across students that attended. I view it as a baton that I believe I was passed to carry out the same historical support. I always say that CAU shaped me for the better. Our dual mottos "I'll Find a Way or Make One" and "Culture for Service" are strong ideals that were instilled in me during my undergraduate experience, and I still apply them to my matriculation through life.

What are some experiences or knowledge you attained at your HBCU that impacted your career?

The CAU School of Business Administration primed me like no other. I thank all of the professors that taught me within my degree programs, my business communication (both written and verbal), presentation/public speaking skills, marketing acumen, understanding of supply chain, the list goes on and on. I also was able to hone my event planning, promotions, and live concert logistics skills by way of being so closely involved with our Homecoming festivities.

What growth or developments would you like to see happen at HBCUs to take things to the next level?

I'd love to see more corporate entities pouring more money into HBCUs while simultaneously incepting incubators that land opportunities for growth within both creative and corporate industries. I'd also like to see a greater emphasis placed on scholastic programming around financial literacy and wealth management.

Albert Cooke

**Albert Cooke (General Manager, Hillman Grad Records/Def Jam Recordings)**

**Studied International Relations at Lincoln University; Graduation Year: 2007**

*Photo courtesy of Albert Cooke*

What do HBCUs offer in terms of education and experience that is unique?

HBCUs are educational centers of empowerment for those who attend. You learn about the great history of Black leadership throughout the diaspora while also being encouraged to add to that legacy. Your experience will be enriched through interacting with other Black students from different parts of the world at various school activities, campus-wide events and organizations.

What are some key reasons why students should consider attending HBCUs?

One key reason is the overall support from faculty and staff. Their efforts aid in building knowledge within the community and providing accountability on campus. Many of the opportunities I was presented at Lincoln were introduced to me by professors and faculty who believed I had the potential to make a difference.

Another key reason is the financial cost. Most HBCUs have tuition that is lower than most PWIs while providing quality education to those ready to make an impact on their lives. Lastly, the bonds you build with other students and alumni while attending an HBCU are like no other. The experiences of homecomings, graduations, step shows, probates, and sporting events create a family-like atmosphere that continues well after you graduate.

What are some experiences or knowledge you attained from your HBCU that impacted your career?

Serving in various leadership positions while at Lincoln provided me the early opportunity to define the type of leader I wanted to be and how I wanted to support members of the Lincoln community. The knowledge I gained from majoring in international relations provided insight on the importance of cultural understanding, diplomacy, compromise, strategy, and maintaining strong relationships in business.

What growth or developments would you like to see happen at HBCUs to take things to the next level?

HBCUs should continue to expand study abroad opportunities in various disciplines for students. I would also like to see more music industry-focused degree programs since many of today's leading artists either are Black or influenced by Black artistry and culture.

Julian K. Petty

**Julian K. Petty (EVP, Head of Business & Legal Affairs, Warner Records)**

**Studied Marketing at Howard University; Graduation Year: 1999**

*Photo courtesy of Julian K. Petty*

What do HBCUs offer in terms of education and experience that is unique?

I believe the quality of the education is just like at any other competitive school. However, for many of the students, it's the first time that they are being taught by professors who look like them. These are highly accomplished educators who could have taught anywhere (which some have on their path to an HBCU) but they chose to take their talents and expertise to a historically Black institution. Moreover, the professors bring a certain passion and perspective to the coursework that makes it an education like no other.

As far as experience, it's unique for the simple fact that it's probably the only time the average Black American will go through day-to-day life and not have to think about race as a burden.

What are some key reasons why students should consider attending HBCUs?

Great education, strong alumni network, and professors who care about your "life outcome," not just your grades.

What are some experiences or knowledge you attained from your HBCU that impacted your career? 

One of the biggest reasons I am where I am today is because of a summer internship I did at Def Jam Records back in the summer of '96. I spent the summer working in the marketing department under the tutelage of Howard alum Jasmine "Jazz" Young. We've stayed in touch ever since and I couldn't imagine where I'd be now if Jazz didn't give me that shot. Since then, I've worked with countless Howard alum as well as folks from other HBCUs. My career trajectory has been greatly influenced by HBCU grads and the network we have.

What growth or developments would you like to see happen at HBCUs to take things to the next level?

In order to take things to the next level, you must have resources. I've seen some real progress in the last few years but I believe there is much to be done in the area of philanthropy. [The action of] "giving back" must become second nature in order for our HBCUs to survive and thrive. The alumni have to step up to the plate.

Phylicia Fant

**Phylicia Fant (Head of Music Industry and Culture Collaborations, Amazon Music)**

**Studied English Language & Literature at Spelman College; Graduation Year: 2000**

*Photo courtesy of Phylicia Fant*

What do HBCUs offer in terms of education and experience that is unique?

The experience is unparalleled. The first part is education about self-love and acceptance. The latter is a redirection of what society might have told you to be true about people of color. We are not a monolith and what we have and continue to contribute to the world is often undervalued if not recognized at all. It is the ultimate history lesson and ownership of what our ancestors died for.

What are some key reasons why students should consider attending HBCUs?

Community is essential to growth. What happens beyond graduation is when the experience truly activates. It is the unspoken language that says "I see you and know your worth." If you call upon this tribe, it is our duty to show up for each other personally and professionally. That bond can never be broken.

What are some experiences or knowledge you attained from your HBCU that impacted your career?

I am an unapologetically Black woman. I am often misunderstood simply by the tone of my voice. I have sometimes questioned my appearance because it was not status quo. I recall the day I called my mom about getting braids in corporate America, recalling a time I was almost removed from an organization because I was told my hair resembled snakes. The call ended with, "We did not raise you to hide. You better go get those braids and embrace who you are." That led me right back to a class I took about the Black female body at Spelman. Having a career where you are often the only one means embracing all parts of you are you won't succeed. So that is my voice, my hair, my body, and all things that allow me to be me.

What growth or developments would you like to see happen at HBCUs to take things to the next level?

First and foremost, graduates have to give back financially to their alma maters. We also have to go back and let these students know that jobs exist that are both traditional and non-traditional. We grow up knowing that certain jobs allow acceptance on a larger scale but we also have to let them know what is possible. I had no idea publicity or the music business existed until my last year of college and I was in the epicenter of music and culture.

For HBCUs not in cities like Atlanta and D.C., it can be hard to access these experiences. We have to level the playing field and that can only be done by showing up and giving back.

Lake Morrison

**Leighton "Lake" Morrison (Co-owner, Generation Now)**

**Studied Political Science at Morehouse College; Graduation Year: 2000**

*Photo courtesy of Warner Music Group*

What do HBCUs offer in terms of education and experience that is unique?

Seeing progressive young Black people from all over the world. In my personal experience, I had classmates from everywhere from New York to Africa. Just to see how different regions were was almost like you were able to travel without actually traveling.

What are some key reasons why students should consider attending HBCUs?

There's a certain passion the professors have about making sure they prepare you for the real world. As I grew older I truly see the benefit of having those "hard" teachers.

What are some experiences or knowledge you attained from your HBCU that impacted your career?

Creating and maintaining relationships. That's the single most important thing I learned and took with me.

What growth or developments would you like to see happen at HBCUs to take things to the next level?

I think it's started already, but more of the top recruits coming to the athletic programs will help tons. That will help funnel funds into the colleges and universities and make them competitive in every aspect.

DJ Drama Photo

**Tyree "DJ Drama" Simmons (CEO, Generation Now)**

**Studied Mass Communications at Clark Atlanta University; Graduation Year: 2000**

*Photo courtesy of Warner Music Group*

What do HBCUs offer in terms of education and experience that is unique?

It offers relationships that you can cherish throughout your life and career, along with having family and friends. What was special to me beyond the classroom and the education I got in school was the education and experience I got from meeting so many people from various backgrounds and places, while all having very unique goals. The friends I met in my time at Clark Atlanta are still some of the best and most important relationships that I have to this day. I met my best friends and my business partners while attending CAU and being at the Atlanta University Center (AUC).

What are some key reasons why students should consider attending HBCUs?

Relationships and a cultivating learning environment, the culture when it comes to pride and loyalty, and the bonds you only make at HBCUs.

What are some experiences or knowledge you attained from your HBCU that impacted your career?

Being a DJ coming from Philly to Atlanta and being in an environment that had so many young people from all across the country and the world, it taught me how to be a much better and well-rounded DJ. I learned how to control the crowd. To this day, I feel like I learned my DJ chops in the AUC. It taught me how to hustle outside of the classroom and really take advantage of every moment that you're in.

What growth or developments would you like to see happen at HBCUs to take things to the next level?

More alumni involvement and acknowledging the culture more.

"Black Music Saved The World": How The Recording Academy Honors Presented By The Black Music Collective Celebrated Positive Change For The Culture & Community

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

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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 go.grammy.com 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

National Recording Registry Announces Inductees

Photo: Library of Congress

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National Recording Registry Inducts Music From The Notorious B.I.G., Green Day, Blondie, The Chicks, & More

Recordings by the Cars, Bill Withers, Lily Tomlin, Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick, and the all-Black 369th U.S. Infantry Band after World War I are also among the 25 selected for induction.

GRAMMYs/Apr 17, 2024 - 12:54 am

As a founding member of the National Recording Preservation Board, the Recording Academy was instrumental in lobbying and getting the board created by Congress. Now, the Library of Congress has added new treasures to the National Recording Registry, preserving masterpieces that have shaped American culture.

The 2024 class not only celebrates modern icons like Green Day’s punk classic Dookie and Biggie Smalls' seminal Ready to Die, but also honors vintage gems like Gene Autry’s "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and Perry Como’s hits from 1957. These recordings join over 650 titles that constitute the registry — a curated collection housed within the Library’s vast archive of nearly 4 million sound recordings. 

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced these additions as essential pieces of our nation’s audio legacy, each selected for their cultural, historical, or aesthetic importance. This selection process is influenced by public nominations, which hit a record number this year, emphasizing the public's role in preserving audio history.

Read more: Inside Green Day's Intimate "Right Here, Right Now" Global Climate Concert In San Francisco

"The Library of Congress is proud to preserve the sounds of American history and our diverse culture through the National Recording Registry," Hayden said. "We have selected audio treasures worthy of preservation with our partners this year, including a wide range of music from the past 100 years, as well as comedy. We were thrilled to receive a record number of public nominations, and we welcome the public’s input on what we should preserve next."

The latest selections named to the registry span from 1919 to 1998 and range from the recordings of the all-Black 369th U.S. Infantry Band led by James Reese Europe after World War I, to defining sounds of jazz and bluegrass, and iconic recordings from pop, dance, country, rock, rap, Latin and classical music.

"For the past 21 years the National Recording Preservation Board has provided musical expertise, historical perspective and deep knowledge of recorded sound to assist the Librarian in choosing landmark recordings to be inducted into the Library’s National Recording Registry," said Robbin Ahrold, Chair of the National Recording Preservation Board. "The board again this year is pleased to join the Librarian in highlighting influential works in our diverse sound heritage, as well as helping to spread the word on the National Recording Registry through their own social media and streaming media Campaigns."

Tune in to NPR's "1A" for "The Sounds of America" series, featuring interviews with Hayden and selected artists, to hear stories behind this year’s picks. Stay connected to the conversation about the registry via social media and listen to many of the recordings on your favorite streaming service.

For more details on the National Recording Registry and to explore more about the selections, visit The Library of Congress's official National Recording Registry page.

National Recording Registry, 2024 Selections (chronological order)

  1. "Clarinet Marmalade" – Lt. James Reese Europe’s 369th U.S. Infantry Band (1919)

  2. "Kauhavan Polkka" – Viola Turpeinen and John Rosendahl (1928)

  3. Wisconsin Folksong Collection (1937-1946)

  4. "Rose Room" – Benny Goodman Sextet with Charlie Christian (1939)

  5. "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" – Gene Autry (1949)

  6. "Tennessee Waltz" – Patti Page (1950)

  7. "Rocket ‘88’" – Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats (1951)

  8. "Catch a Falling Star" / "Magic Moments" – Perry Como (1957)

  9. "Chances Are" – Johnny Mathis (1957)

  10. "The Sidewinder" – Lee Morgan (1964)

  11. "Surrealistic Pillow" – Jefferson Airplane (1967)

  12. "Ain’t No Sunshine" – Bill Withers (1971)

  13. "This is a Recording" – Lily Tomlin (1971)

  14. "J.D. Crowe & the New South" – J.D. Crowe & the New South (1975)

  15. "Arrival" – ABBA (1976)

  16. "El Cantante" – Héctor Lavoe (1978)

  17. "The Cars" – The Cars (1978)

  18. "Parallel Lines" – Blondie (1978)

  19. "La-Di-Da-Di" – Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick (MC Ricky D) (1985)

  20. "Don’t Worry, Be Happy" – Bobby McFerrin (1988)

  21. "Amor Eterno" – Juan Gabriel (1990)

  22. "Pieces of Africa" – Kronos Quartet (1992)

  23. Dookie – Green Day (1994)

  24. Ready to Die – The Notorious B.I.G. (1994)

  25. "Wide Open Spaces" – The Chicks (1998)


21 Albums Turning 50 In 2024: 'Diamond Dogs,' 'Jolene,' 'Natty Dread' & More

The GRAMMY Hall Of Fame returns to celebrate its 50th anniversary with an inaugural gala and concert taking place Tuesday, May 21, at the NOVO Theater in Los Angeles
The GRAMMY Hall Of Fame returns to celebrate its 50th anniversary with an inaugural gala and concert taking place Tuesday, May 21, at the NOVO Theater in Los Angeles

Image courtesy of the GRAMMY Museum

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The GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Returns To Celebrate 50th Anniversary: Inaugural Gala & Concert Taking Place May 21 In Los Angeles

Following a two-year hiatus, the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame returns to celebrate its 50th anniversary with an inaugural gala and concert on Tuesday, May 21, at the NOVO Theater in Los Angeles. Ten recordings will be newly inducted into the Hall this year.

GRAMMYs/Mar 5, 2024 - 02:00 pm

Following a two-year hiatus, the GRAMMY Museum and Recording Academy are reinstating the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame on its 50th anniversary. The momentous event will be celebrated with an inaugural gala and concert on Tuesday, May 21, at the NOVO Theater in Los Angeles; tickets and performers for the event will be announced at a later date. As part of the return, 10 recordings, including four albums and six singles, will be newly inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame later this year.

The GRAMMY Hall Of Fame was established by the Recording Academy's National Trustees in 1973 to honor recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance that are at least 25 years old. Inductees are selected annually by a special member committee of eminent and knowledgeable professionals from all branches of the recording arts with final ratification by the Recording Academy's National Board of Trustees. There are currently 1,152 inducted recordings in the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame. View the full list GRAMMY Hall Of Fame past inductees.

This year, the GRAMMY Museum’s GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Gala will be the first of what will become an annual event, and includes a red carpet and VIP reception on the newly opened Ray Charles Terrace at the GRAMMY Museum, followed by a one-of-a-kind concert at the NOVO Theater in Downtown Los Angeles.

The inaugural gala and concert is produced by longtime executive producer of the GRAMMY Awards, Ken Ehrlich, along with Chantel Sausedo and Ron Basile and will feature musical direction by globally renowned producer and keyboardist Greg Phillinganes. For sponsorship opportunities, reach out to halloffame@grammymuseum.org.

Keep watching this space for more exciting news about the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame!

2024 GRAMMYs: See The Full Winners & Nominees List

BMC's Recording Academy Honors 2024 Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey accepts the Global Impact Award during the Recording Academy Honors presented by the Black Music Collective

Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

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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.

GRAMMYs/Feb 3, 2024 - 08:34 pm

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.

2024 GRAMMYs: See The Full Nominees And Winners List

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.