Lil Nas X, Gunna, and Victoria Monet are among the 2,321 artists who were invited to join the Recording Academy. That is up from the 1,340 asked last year.
Lil Nas X expressed his excitement about being part of the 2020 class. He said, “I’m so honored to join the Recording Academy’s Membership Class of 2020. Thank you to the Academy for all your support so far. I’m so excited to officially be a part of the family with so many legends in the industry, and to be a new voice to represent other music creators like me out there. Can’t wait to see what this year brings. Let’s go!!”
The academy revealed the stats of this year’s “freshman class,” and they are comparable to last year: 48 percent are female, 21 percent are African American/African descent, eight percent are Hispanic, three percent are Asian American/Pacific Islander/Asian, and 51 percent of the new class is age 39 or younger.
The Academy’s chair and interim president and CEO Harvey Mason, Jr. says, “We just want to be representative of the people making music. It’s also more than gender or race or age. It’s region, it’s genre, it’s location. There are so many factors that go into how we invite our members.”
Per Billboard, this is the second year that the academy has had a peer-driven membership model. “Under the old model, the academy insisted on 12 credits on recorded tracks. Under the new model, the academy looks for recommendations from two industry members (not necessarily academy members). If the recommendations and/or other factors are strong enough, the 12-credit rule can be waived.”
Harvey Mason adds that this new model allows the academy to get a more diverse and a bigger representation of the music industry.
In a video on the Grammy website, current members, including John Legend and Yolanda Adams, welcomed the new class. In the clip, John Legend says, ” We still need to be more diverse. The only way that changes is if we’re recruiting more people to bring an influx of diversity into the academy. Rather than throw up our hands and say, ‘It’s going to be a stodgy, old white guy organization, we’re the people that are going to change it.'”
Billboard adds that in order to participate in the process for the upcoming Grammy Awards, the new class must accept their invitations by Sept. 15.