People of Color Make Up Half of the Recording Academy’s 2023 Member Class

A full member breakdown shows that the new member class is comprised of younger people, but gender equality has a ways to go.

David Becker / Getty Images for The Recording Academy

The Recording Academy, best known for its annual Grammy Awards to celebrate music, announced that half of its incoming member class is officially made up of people of color in an effort to create a diverse membership and voting body.

There are over a thousand members added every year across its three membership categories: voting members (professional musicians and creators), professional members (music businesspeople including writers, publicists, etc.), and GRAMMY U members (emerging music professionals).

According to a full breakdown provided to Billboard, the gender breakdown is as follows: 58% male, 32% female, 9% unknown, 1% non-binary or gender non-conforming, and less than 1% people who prefer to self-describe. This is a big difference from the organization's 2021 numbers, where 48% of the 2,700 members invited were women. Its goal is to invite 2,500 female voting members by 2025.

As for the age makeup, 45% are 39 and under, 39% are over 40 and 15% are unknown.

And for the racial spread of new members, 37% are white or Caucasian, 27% are Black or African American; 9% are Hispanic or Latin, 5% are Asian or Pacific Islander, 2% are South Asian, 1% are Middle Eastern or North African, less than 1% are indigenous or Alaskan Native. 14% did not disclose any information and 4% preferred to self-describe.

It appears that the Recording Academy is on an upward turn when it comes to diversity. In 2022, people of color made up 44% of new members.

Despite these strides, the Grammys and musicians have a complicated relationship. The Weeknd called out the ceremony and its voting body after his album After Hours was not nominated in any category. In a Billboard cover story, he said only ten Black artists have won Album of the Year as lead artists.

For the upcoming Grammy Awards, SZA and Victoria Monet are up for Record of the Year. SZA is also up for Album of the Year along with Janelle Monae.

Latest in Music