Harvey Mason Jr.

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Harvey Mason Jr.
Mason in 2020
Mason in 2020
Background information
Birth nameHarvey Jay Mason Jr.
Born (1968-06-03) June 3, 1968 (age 55)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
OriginLos Angeles, California
Occupation(s)Record producer, songwriter, movie producer
CEO of The Recording Academy
Years active1976–present

Harvey Jay Mason Jr. (born June 3, 1968) is an American record producer, songwriter, film producer, and current CEO of The Recording Academy. He's known for written and produced songs for artists including Aretha Franklin, Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson, Ariana Grande, Elton John, Britney Spears, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Justin Timberlake, Whitney Houston, and Chris Brown. In addition, he has produced music for television and films, including Dreamgirls (with Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson), Sparkle (with Whitney Houston), Pitch Perfect (with Hailee Steinfeld and Anna Kendrick), Sing (with Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson and Tori Kelly), Straight Outta Compton (with Dr. Dre and Ice Cube), and The Wiz Live! (with Mary J. Blige and Neyo). He was elected as the chairman of The Recording Academy in June 2019, became its interim president and CEO on January 16, 2020, and then assumed the permanent role of CEO on May 13, 2021.[1][2]


Mason was born in June 3,1968 in Boston, Massachusetts to Harvey Mason Sr., a jazz drummer and Sally Mason, both attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston.[3] As a child, Harvey moved with his family to Los Angeles and followed his father to many recording sessions with such greats as Quincy Jones, the Brothers Johnson and Herbie Hancock. Mason Jr. penned his first song at the age of eight for Grover Washington Jr. titled "Love Makes It Better".[4][5]

After attending the University of Arizona on a basketball scholarship from 1986 to 1990 and playing in the 1988 Final Four, he began working as a songwriter/record producer. Some early work included tracks for British pop artist Michelle Gayle's album "Sensational" in 1997 and the jazz/soul duo Imprompt2. He co-produced the jazz album "Ratamacue" with his father in 1997. In addition he worked with Mason Sr.'s group Fourplay, In 1998 the produced the track called "Sexual Healing" featuring El DeBarge in 1998.[6]

In 1997, Mason Jr. also penned the track "Truthfully" which caught the attention of record producer, Rodney Jerkins. The track was produced for Brandy's 1998 album "Never Say Never".[7] Mason Jr. then worked with Jerkins over the next three years on projects including "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child, "It's Not Right, But It's Okay" by Whitney Houston, and "He Wasn't Man Enough" by Toni Braxton. He also worked on the album Invincible by Michael Jackson.[8]


In 2000, Mason Jr. co-wrote the track "I Like Them Girls" with Damon Thomas for Tyrese's album "2000 Watts".[9] The success of the song led to a partnership and the formation of Underdog Entertainment. The Underdogs produced R&B and pop hits like "How You Gonna Act Like That" by Tyrese, "Gots Ta Be" by B2K, "O" by Omarion, "More To Life" by Stacie Orrico, "Sorry 2004" by Ruben Studdard, and "No Air" by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown.[10] In 2001, he collaborated with British designer and former member of the Spice Girls Victoria Beckham on her debut album including tracks like "Girlfriend" and some B-sides.[11] In 2004, The Underdogs signed a label deal through BMG under Clive Davis[12] and created Underdog Music Publishing, a joint venture with Rondor/ Universal Music.[13] In 2006, The Underdogs produced the soundtrack to the motion picture "Dreamgirls" which won the Critic's Choice Award in 2007 for best movie soundtrack.[14] After a three-year hiatus, The Underdogs reunited in 2011 to produce "Up 2 You" for Chris Brown's album "F.A.M.E.". The Underdogs wrote and produced the song "The Living Proof" performed by Mary J. Blige for the movie "The Help". The Underdogs wrote and produced the second single from Chris Brown's album Fortune titled "Turn Up the Music". In 2012 The Underdogs produced the vocals for the film Pitch Perfect, starring Anna Kendrick and Brittany Snow.[15] In 2014, they produced South Korean girl group Girls' Generation's hit "Mr. Mr." & its labelmate Exo's "Overdose",[16] as well as the music for biopic "Get on Up" about the life of James Brown. In 2015, The Underdogs produced the music for the sequel to the moderately successful "Pitch Perfect" movie, "Pitch Perfect 2" and the highly acclaimed film "Straight Outta Compton" about the rap group N.W.A.

Harvey Mason Media[edit]

Mason in 2009

Mason Jr. formed his independent company Harvey Mason Media in 2008. It encompasses his film and record productions, music publishing, and website ventures. Record productions include the 2008 releases of Chris Brown, "Superhuman" from the album Exclusive, Britney Spears', "Mannequin" from the album Circus[17] and Jennifer Hudson's, "You Pulled Me Through" from her self-titled debut album. He produced the title track "I Look To You" along with Tricky Stewart and the cover of "Song for You" along with Stargate for Whitney Houston's 2009 album "I Look To You".[18] In 2010, Mason Jr. produced the updated version of "One Shining Moment" featuring Jennifer Hudson for CBS Sports to be featured during the Final Four.[19] Mason Jr. produced and worked as A&R on Toni Braxton's Pulse. In 2011, Mason Jr. produced the first single "Where You At" along with R. Kelly for Jennifer Hudson's album "I Remember Me"

Harvey Mason Media produced the feature film More than a Game in 2008.[20][21][22] The movie documents the rise of LeBron James and his high school teammates from their early AAU basketball days to the high school national championship stage. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2008, where it won first runner up to best film, "Slumdog Millionaire".[23] Lions Gate Films distributed the film, which was released during the fall of 2009.[24] Harvey Mason Media and Interscope Records distributed the soundtrack album titled "Music Inspired by More Than a Game". More than a Game was nominated for best documentary at the 2010 NAACP Image Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards.[25]

Mason Jr. appeared on the 2011 season of American Idol as a mentor/producer, working with Pia Toscano and Jacob Lusk and worked as a mentor/producer on the 2013 season of The X Factor USA. He has also made numerous appearances on the reality series Braxton Family Values on the We TV network starring Toni Braxton and Tamar Braxton.

In 2012, Mason Jr. was the last producer to work with Whitney Houston when he produced the songs "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" and "Celebrate" for the movie Sparkle.

Following the success of Pitch Perfect 2, Get On Up, and Straight Outta Compton, Harvey served as music producer for the NBC broadcast of The Wiz Live! which aired on December 3, 2015, and he produced over 50 songs for the animated musical SING from Universal/Illumination Entertainment which was released on December 3, 2016. Sing received two Golden Globe Awards nominations for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song for the song "Faith".[4]

In 2017, Mason Jr. served as executive music producer for Pitch Perfect 3 – the final installment of the blockbuster Universal Pictures franchise, as well as the musical reworking of the 1980s classic Valley Girl (film) for MGM and USA Network's Unsolved, a scripted true crime series based on the murder investigations of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. He also served as composer and executive music producer on director Anthony Mandler's feature debut Monster which was nominated for the 2018 Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.[26]

In March 2018, Billboard announced that Harvey Mason Jr. joined the advisory board of Tunedly, an online recording studio for songwriters.[27]

Mason Jr. produced the music for NBC's Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert! which aired on April 1, 2018,[28] and Bad Times at the El Royale for 20th Century Fox directed by Drew Goddard.[29] Most recently, Harvey produced the highly anticipated biopic for MGM, "Respect" starring Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin. With six more projects in development at studios and slated to come in 2023, Harvey has an exciting future in the TV/film space.

Recording Academy[edit]

[30] Harvey Mason Jr. is currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of The Recording Academy, having assumed the role on May 13, 2021.[31]

Grammy Foundation[edit]

Mason Jr. was elected to the board of the directors for the Los Angeles chapter of The Recording Academy (National Academy of Record Arts and Sciences) in 2007 and the National Board of Trustees in 2009. He has participated in Grammy Foundation events including Grammy in the Schools, Grammy Camp[32] and the MusiCares Foundation. Mason Jr. is the Chairperson of the National Advocacy Committee and Executive Co-chair of the Producers and Engineers Wing.

Personal life[edit]

Harvey Mason Jr. married his wife, Britt Burton, in a private ceremony in 2020. Burton is most known for songwriting, and now takes on the role of Creative Director for Harvey Mason Media.

Harvey has two children; his son Trey and his daughter, Mia, who both live and work in Scottsdale, Arizona. Trey is a Corporate Counsel for Troon and Mia is an Associate Marketing Manager at QuidelOrtho.


Mason Jr. played basketball throughout high school and college. As a guard on the Crescenta Valley High School team in La Crescenta, California he was selected to the All-CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) team in 1984, 1985 and 1986. He received a full-scholarship to the University of Arizona and played for Hall of Fame coach, Lute Olson. Mason Jr.'s teams won the Pac-10 title in 1988, 1989 and 1990 and played in the Final Four in 1988.[33] Notable teammates include Steve Kerr (Chicago Bulls), Jud Buechler (Chicago Bulls), Bison Dele (Chicago Bulls), Sean Elliott (San Antonio Spurs) and Kenny Lofton (Major League Baseball six time all-star).[34] Multiple knee surgeries sidelined Mason Jr.'s hope of a continuing basketball career. Mason Jr. serves on the National Leadership Council and the Board of Trustees for the University of Arizona.

Songwriting and music production highlights[edit]


  1. ^ "Harvey Mason Jr. Becomes official CEO of Recording Academy". Associated Press. May 13, 2021.
  2. ^ "Grammy Awards are undergoing sweeping changes with new Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr". San Diego Union-Tribune. March 31, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  3. ^ "Harvey Mason, Playing 'With All My Heart'". NPR.org. NPR. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  4. ^ "Grover Washington, Jr. - discography - InfoEx". Archived from the original on January 16, 2009. Retrieved February 3, 2009.
  5. ^ "Harvey Mason Jr. talks Recording Academy changes, industry's future". spectrumnews1.com. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  6. ^ "Photo: Trevor Noah and Harvey Mason Jr. Arrive for the 64th Grammy Awards in Las Vegas - LAV20220403869". UPI. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "The Incomparable Harvey Mason, Jr. – Mix Cover Story, Part 1". Mixonline. February 2, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  9. ^ http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-11524019_ITM. {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ [2][dead link]
  11. ^ "Harvey Mason Jr". Archived from the original on April 30, 2010. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
  12. ^ http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-24435781_ITM. {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ "Producers the Underdogs Sign Joint Publishing Deal with Rondor Music". Archived from the original on November 28, 2009. Retrieved February 3, 2009.
  14. ^ Keck, Will (March 14, 2007). "'Sunshine' wins big". USA Today.
  15. ^ "Behind The Scenes Of The Year's Best Soundtrack". Huffington Post. October 9, 2012.
  16. ^ "The Underdogs Talk EXO's 'Overdose,' Tease 'Game-Changing' K-Pop Records: Exclusive". Billboard. April 25, 2014. Retrieved May 29, 2015.
  17. ^ Blas, Lorena (August 13, 2008). "Now Britney's all about being a mom, making an album". USA Today.
  18. ^ Rodman, Sarah (September 30, 2008). "She is telling you she's here to stay". The Boston Globe.
  19. ^ Crowe, Jerry (March 28, 2010). "Harvey Mason's life after basketball has been note-perfect". Los Angeles Times.
  20. ^ "More Than a Game - Rotten Tomatoes". www.rottentomatoes.com. October 2, 2009. Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  21. ^ "Prime Video: More Than A Game". www.primevideo.com. Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  22. ^ "Harvey Mason Jr. | Arizona Alumni". alumni.arizona.edu. Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  23. ^ "Slumdog Millionaire wins at Toronto film fest".
  24. ^ [3][dead link]
  25. ^ "LeBron James' 'More Than a Game' nominated for indie Spirit Award". cleveland. Associated Press. December 1, 2009. Retrieved July 25, 2022.
  26. ^ "Harvey Mason Jr". IMDb. Retrieved July 25, 2022.
  27. ^ "Executive Turntable: Moves at TuneIn & Coalition Agency, Additions to Tunedly Advisory Board". Billboard. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  28. ^ "Jesus Christ Superstar Music Producer Says Star John Legend 'Knows the Show Inside and Out'".
  29. ^ Tenreyro, Tatiana (January 1, 2019). "Why All Of Darlene's Songs In 'Bad Times At The El Royale' Stuck With You After The Credits". Bustle. Archived from the original on March 13, 2021. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  30. ^ "The Grammys: What does a Songwriter Of The Year award mean for the industry?". www.prsformusic.com. Retrieved August 4, 2022.
  31. ^ "Harvey Mason Jr. Becomes official CEO of Recording Academy". Associated Press. May 13, 2021.
  32. ^ "Los Angeles Area Students To Attend Grammy Career Day Presented By Gibson Foundation On Feb. 7 At The University Of Southern California @ Top40-Charts.com – New Songs & Videos from 49 Top 20 & Top 40 Music Charts from 30 Countries". Top40-charts.com. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  33. ^ "Scout.com: Lute's Recruits: 1986". Archived from the original on April 10, 2009. Retrieved February 3, 2009.
  34. ^ "The University of Arizona Alumni Association / Notable Alumni". Archived from the original on September 8, 2009. Retrieved February 3, 2009.

External links[edit]

Cultural offices
Preceded by President of The Recording Academy
Succeeded by