On Monday, the Recording Academy announced it had invited over 2,700 musicians and music industry figures to join the 2021 voter pool to expand diversity.
Among those invited to join the organization this year, 48 percent are female, 32 percent Black, 13 percent Hispanic or Latino, and 4 percent Asian or Pacific Islander. The Academy previously announced that it plans to add 2,500 female voting members by 2025, and since announcing the initiative in 2019, the Academy has added 831 women to its voting pool.
“Membership is the Academy's change agent—our members drive everything we do," said Ruby Marchand, Chief Industry Officer at the Recording Academy. "I'm inspired by the potential for each invited music creator and business professional to lend their creativity and passion to our organization. We are immensely proud of our accomplishments and the strides we've made toward equitable representation. We look forward to welcoming our new invitees as they help us shape the future of the Academy and the music industry."
The Academy’s announcement comes after continued criticism directed at the Grammys, especially following the ousting of former CEO Deborah Dugan. Other recent controversies surrounding the Academy include how The Weeknd’s After Hours, arguably one of the most successful pop records in recent memory, was completely shut out of the awards.
"As a new member of the Recording Academy, I want to be an advocate for my music genre and for artists, especially female artists,” said new invitee Lupita Infante. “It's such a powerful time for women to rise up in our music community and I want to be a part of that movement. Seeing myself become a member means progress for our genre and for women within regional Mexican music." Skip Marley, the grandson of Bob Marley, added, “I know that music can connect people, and this is what I hope to bring not only to the Academy, but to the world.”
For invitees to participate in the next Grammy Awards, new members will need to accept their invitations by Sept. 15, 2021. The voting ballot for the 2022 Grammy Awards, set to take place on Jan. 31, 2022, will open on Oct. 22 and close on Nov. 5 this year.