The Recording Academy Shifts Membership Model

The Recording Academy has launched a new community-driven, peer-reviewed membership model in order to create a more representative, diverse membership.

The new member submission program shifts to an annual cycle and will now include two new elements: industry recommendations and peer review. Going forward, in addition to meeting the Recording Academy’s basic requirements, each new member submission must include two professional recommendations in order to be considered for membership.

Additionally, a Peer Review Panel of music creators will convene each spring to evaluate all new member submissions and will consider a range of criteria—including craft, genre, and overall diversity—in determining whom to invite into the Recording Academy. The move to an annual review cycle will enable the Recording Academy to look at both its existing membership base and prospective submissions, and be thoughtful about how each individual new member decision stands to shape the collective body.

The move follows earlier efforts to diversify the Recording Academy’s membership body, including the previously-launched Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion, which invited 900 music creators to become voting members to effect immediate change in advance of the 61st annual Grammy Awards.

“The GRAMMY Awards® are already renowned for being a peer-awarded honor, and our new membership model further reinforces that peer-driven commitment to excellence,” said Laura Segura Mueller, Vice President of Membership & Industry Relations. “Membership is the lifeblood of the Recording Academy and a privilege we strive to uphold. Our new membership model puts the power in the hands of the music community and is designed to build an active, representative membership base that reflects our broader culture. By changing the process to Recording Academy membership, we remain committed to setting a positive example for the music industry as a whole.”

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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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