• Michaela Greene

The Recording Academy strives to increase voter diversity by adding over 2,700 new members

The Recording Academy made efforts to expand diversity in their annual voting process by adding 2,710 new members from “wide-ranging backgrounds, genres, and disciplines,” according to a press release.

This addition was taken into effect on Monday (June 27), as the Recording Academy added members ranging from musicians and music industry insiders. More than half of the 2021 class of new members, according to a recent press release, are from "traditionally underrepresented groups." This new addition to the Academy was made due to complaints about Grammy snubs, corruption, and its overall voting process.

Past complaints also included one from Deborah Dugan, who is chief executive of the Recording Academy. In a 44-page complaint, Dugan included the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and unequal pay on the part of the Academy, according to The Washington Post. The complaint, officially known as a charge of discrimination, also claims the organization retaliated against Dugan after she raised concerns — in an email to a senior human resources executive — that the Academy was operating under a “'boys’ club’ mentality.”

“Membership is the Academy's change agent — our members drive everything we do,” said Ruby Marchand, the Academy’s chief industry officer, in a statement.

One of the most notable updates to the Recording Academy were made in the Album of the Year category. Every artists, songwriter, producer, recording engineer, mixer and mastering engineer who are involved in making the winning project will be recognized.

Music critics and musicians stand hopeful that this new advancement will bring a positive change to the Academy. Fans are excited to see this reformation come into effect in the 2022 Grammy Awards and thereafter.