Grammys overhaul: Academy adds 900 new members in bid for diversity, and women will rule nominating panels

There are big changes coming to the Grammys. The recording academy has invited 900 new members to join based on the recommendations of the diversity task force that was set up earlier this year to address the awards’ often criticized lack of inclusion. And the nomination review committees that decide the final contenders in top categories like Album of the Year and Record of the Year will be led by women.

The recording academy invitees span a wide range of fields and disciplines “including vocalists, songwriters, instrumentalists, producers, and engineers representing a diversity of music genres, ethnicities, gender, and age groups.” Those who accept their invitations before November 15, 2018, will be able to vote in the final round of voting to decide the winners in 2019. Those who accept after November 15 will have to wait until next year’s awards.

But that doesn’t mean we’ll have to wait until 2020 to see substantial change. This year’s nomination review committee membership will be 51% women. Of all the women and men on the committees, 48% are people of color. Both these demographic groups are up drastically from last year’s panels made up of 28% women and 37% people of color. Combined with the fact that there will now be eight nomination slots in the top four general field categories that will ultimately be determined by the committees, we could see a major sea change in this year’s nominees and winners.

Task force chair Tina Tchen said in a statement, “Our invite initiative is a first step to reach out to the diverse, talented individuals who make up the music community. The recording academy should reflect the scope and scale of the music industry and recognize the creative and artistic endeavors that enable it to thrive. Having a truly diverse membership is the foundation for any change. This initiative is one of the many ways the task force is encouraging change in practices while nurturing a more inclusive organization for academy members today and for generations to come.”

Be sure to make your Grammy predictions so that Hollywood record executives and top name stars can see how their music is faring in our Grammy odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on Wednesday, December 5. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Grammys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our music forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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