Jump to content

The Recording Academy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Recording Academy
TypeLearned academy
HeadquartersSanta Monica, California, United States
Harvey Mason Jr.
Key people
Panos Panay
AffiliationsThe Latin Recording Academy
Websiterecordingacademy.com Edit this at Wikidata

The Recording Academy (formally the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; abbreviated NARAS) is an American learned academy of musicians, producers, recording engineers, and other musical professionals. It is widely known for its Grammy Awards, which recognize achievements in the music industry of songs and music which are popular worldwide. The Recording Academy is a founding partner of the Grammy Museum, a non-profit organization whose stated mission is preserving and educating about music history and significance. The Recording Academy also founded MusiCares, a charity with the stated goal of impacting the health and welfare of the music community. The Recording Academy's advocacy team lobbies for music creators' rights at the local, state, and federal levels.


the Recording Academy's former headquarters in Santa Monica, California

The origin of the academy dates back to the beginning of the 1950s Hollywood Walk of Fame project. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce asked the help of major recording industry executives in compiling a list of people in the music business who should be honored by Walk of Fame stars.[1][2] The music committee, made up of these executives, compiled a list, but as they worked, they realized there were many more talented industry people who would not qualify to be recognized with a Hollywood Boulevard bronze star.

The founding committee members included Jesse Kaye, MGM Records; Lloyd Dunn and Richard Jones, Capitol Records; Sonny Burke and Milt Gabler, Decca Records; Dennis Farnon, RCA Records; and Axel Stordahl, Paul Weston, and Doris Day from Columbia Records.[3] This was the start of the academy and also of the Grammy Awards.[4][5][6]

The Recording Academy was formally established in 1957.

The 1st Annual Grammy Awards was held simultaneously in two locations on May 4, 1959 – Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills California, and Park Sheraton Hotel in New York City,[7] and 28 Grammys were awarded. The number of awards given grew and fluctuated over the years with categories added and removed, at one time reaching over 100.[8] The second Grammy Awards, also held in 1959, was the first ceremony to be televised,[9] but the ceremony was not aired live until the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971.[10]

In 1997, the Recording Academy under Michael Greene launched The Latin Recording Academy, which produces the Latin Grammy Awards. Neil Portnow later served as president and CEO of the academy from 2002 to 2019.[11] Deborah Dugan was his replacement, taking over on August 1, 2019.[12] and is the first woman to lead the organization.[12] Dugan was removed from her position on January 16, 2020 after organizational claims of misconduct against her assistant, though she claimed she was ousted while experiencing conflicts in trying to reform the organization and other matters were revealed to her, including a sexual assault claim from an artist against Portnow.[13] Harvey Mason Jr. held interim president/CEO duties for the organization from 2020 to 2021.[14] He was named CEO in June 2021.

Since Mason's tenure, the Recording Academy has established the following initiatives:

  • In March 2020, MusiCares established the COVID-19 Relief Fund. According to MusiCares, the fund was created to help struggling music creators through the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.[15]
  • In May 2020, the organization hired its first-ever Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officer, Valeisha Butterfield Jones.[16]
  • In June 2020, the GRAMMYs revised rules and processes ahead of the 63rd GRAMMY Awards. Changes include the removal of the term "urban", renaming Best Urban Contemporary Album to Best Progressive R&B Album, renaming Best Rap/Sung Performance to Best Melodic Rap Performance[17] and within the Latin music field, Latin Pop Album was renamed Best Latin Pop Or Urban Album and Latin Rock, Urban Or Alternative Album was renamed to Best Latin Rock Or Alternative Album.[18]
  • In July 2020, the Academy joined Representatives Linda T. Sánchez (D-Calif.) and Representative Ron Estes (R-Kansas) to introduce the Help Independent Tracks Succeed (HITS) Act. According to the bipartisan bill, it allows independent music makers to expense the cost of new studio recordings on their taxes.[19]
  • In March 2021, it established the Songwriters & Composers Wing, a new wing made to recognize "all genres of songwriters and amplify their role in policy discussions that seek fair compensation for creators."[20]
  • In April 2021, the GRAMMYs eliminated the nominations review committee to provide more transparency in its voting process.[21]
  • In November 2021, ahead of the 64th GRAMMY nominations, the Recording Academy expanded the number of nominees in the General Field categories from eight to ten. According to the organization, the expansion would bring in more genres and make the nominations more representative of the industry.[22]

In June 2021, the Recording Academy named Valeisha Butterfield Jones and Panos A. Panay as Co-Presidents, the first time the Academy has had multiple leaders in its history.[23]

In 2022, The Academy endorsed the bipartisan Promoting Peace, Education, and Cultural Exchange (PEACE) Through Music Diplomacy Act.[24] In September 2023, it co-launched the Global Music Diplomacy Initiative in partnership with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department.[25][26]

Grammy Awards

Josh Knight and his Grammy Award (2012)
Patricia Price at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards are awards presented by the Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry.[27]



Producers and Engineers Wing


According to the Recording Academy, The Producers and Engineers Wing (P&E Wing) is a part of the academy made up of producers, engineers, mixers, and other technically involved professionals.[28][29] The producers and engineers wing addresses various aspects of issues facing the recording profession. The P&E Wing also advocates for the use of professional usage of recording technology as well as the preservation of recordings.[citation needed]

The members of this division make up a large portion of those who vote on the Grammy Awards each year.[citation needed]

Grammy University Network


According to the Recording Academy, The Grammy University Network (Grammy U) is an organization for college students who are pursuing a career in the music industry. It offers forms of networking, interactive educational experiences and programs, advice from music professionals, and internship opportunities.[citation needed]



The Recording Academy supports the MusiCares Foundation, a philanthropic organization which provides money and services to musicians in an emergency or crisis.[citation needed]



The academy has twelve chapters in various locations throughout the United States. The twelve chapters are in Atlanta, Chicago, Florida, Los Angeles, Memphis, Nashville, New York City, the Pacific Northwest, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Texas, and Washington D.C.[30] Tammy Susan Hurt is the first LGBT Chapter President to have served on the board of the Atlanta Chapter since 2005.[31] The Washington branch organized the 2018 event Grammys on the Hill to coordinate passage of the Music Modernization Act in Congress.[30]

See also



  1. ^ "About Hollywood Star Walk". LA Times. Retrieved May 21, 2011.
  2. ^ "Hollywood Walk of Fame History". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved May 21, 2011.
  3. ^ ("Broadcasting" magazine 6-17-57.)
  4. ^ Thomas, Bob (April 8, 1959). "Record Academy Plans TV Spectacular of Its Own". Ocala Star-Banner. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
  5. ^ "Recording Stars Plan Eddie To Join Oscar And Emmy". The Deseret News. August 9, 1957. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
  6. ^ "Bronze Stars Begot Grammy". The Robesonian. February 22, 1976. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
  7. ^ "Grammy Awards 1959 (May)". Grammy.
  8. ^ "Grammys history and winners through the years". Los Angeles Times. January 28, 2015.
  9. ^ "Grammy Awards 1959". Grammy.
  10. ^ "Grammy Awards 1971". Grammy.
  11. ^ Flanagan, Andrew (June 2018). "Grammy President Neil Portnow To Step Down In 2019". NPR.org. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Lewis, Randy (May 9, 2019). "Newly named Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan gives first interview on post-Portnow era". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  13. ^ Lewis, Randy (January 25, 2020). "On eve of Grammys, ousted CEO Deborah Dugan has no regrets: 'I had to defend myself'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  14. ^ Haring, Bruce (January 26, 2020). "Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Sends Letter Promising Initiatives On Diversity And Inclusiveness". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  15. ^ Tatiana Cirisano (March 17, 2020). "Recording Academy and MusiCares Commit $2M For Coronavirus Relief Fund". Billboard. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  16. ^ Jem Aswad (April 30, 2020). "Recording Academy Names Valeisha Butterfield Jones Its First Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer". Variety. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  17. ^ Toyin Owoseje (June 11, 2020). "Grammy Awards to rename controversial 'urban' category". CNN. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  18. ^ Paul Grein (June 10, 2020). "Recording Academy Announces 9 Rule Changes to Its Grammy Awards & Nominations Process". Billboard. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  19. ^ Daniel Kreps (July 31, 2020). "Recording Academy Aligns With HITS Act to Help Indie Artists". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
  20. ^ Jem Aswad (March 14, 2021). "Recording Academy Launches Songwriters & Composers Wing". Variety. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  21. ^ Bruce Haring (April 30, 2021). "Grammy Board Eliminates Secret Nominating Process For Most Categories". Deadline. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  22. ^ Paul Grein (December 16, 2021). "The Inside Story Behind the Recording Academy's Decision to Expand to 10 Grammy Nominees". Billboard. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  23. ^ Jem Aswad (June 22, 2021). "Recording Academy Names Valeisha Butterfield Jones and Panos Panay Co-Presidents". Variety. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  24. ^ "The PEACE Through Music Diplomacy Act Advances In The House: Here's What You Need To Know | RECORDINGACADEMY.com". www.recordingacademy.com. Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  25. ^ "The Recording Academy Partners With U.S. Secretary Of State Antony J. Blinken To Launch The Global Music Diplomacy Initiative; Quincy Jones Awarded Inaugural Peace Through Music Award | GRAMMY.com". www.grammy.com. Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  26. ^ "Global Music Diplomacy Initiative". United States Department of State. Archived from the original on November 30, 2023. Retrieved December 4, 2023.
  27. ^ Aswad, Jem (April 16, 2019). "Who Is Deborah Dugan, the New Boss of the Recording Academy?". Variety. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  28. ^ "About Programs – Producers & Engineers Wing". GRAMMY.com. Archived from the original on May 14, 2019. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  29. ^ Edwards, Gavin (January 22, 2014). "Read Neil Young's Full, Epic Speech From Grammy Honors Ceremony". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on May 13, 2019. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  30. ^ a b Levine, Robert (April 16, 2018). "Recording Academy Celebrates 20 Years of Advocacy In Washington D.C." Billboard. Archived from the original on May 24, 2018. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  31. ^ "Atlanta Board". GRAMMY.com. Archived from the original on August 9, 2020. Retrieved May 31, 2019.