Cam, Sheryl Crow Named to Grammys’ New Diversity Task Force
The Recording Academy is establishing a new task force to better incorporate women and other marginalized groups into the organization and music industry, and two names in country music have been appointed to the effort.
Cam and Sheryl Crow will be part of a task force working to create a more even playing field for underrepresented voices in music. Spearheaded by Recording Academy Chair Tina Tchen, the task force will examine the Academy's current policies, ranging from ground level operations all the way up to the awards ceremony itself and offer their insight into how to include create a more diverse and gender equal environment.
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A total of 16 professionals across the industry have been appointed, including Broadway star Andra Day, actor, producer and Grammy-winning rapper Common, Chairman and CEO of BET Debra Lee and Creative Nation CEO and co-owner Beth Laird. The group also invites public feedback.
"This is an important first step made possible by the Recording Academy's leadership, which recognizes the benefit of examining these issues with fresh eyes," Tchen says.
The installation of the task force comes four months after Recording Academy President Neil Portnow came under fire for a comment he made about a lack of female representation at the 2018 Grammy Awards, remarking at the time that women need to "step up" when it comes to taking on executive roles throughout the industry.
"It has to begin with … women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level," he told Variety. "[They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome. I don’t have personal experience of those kinds of brick walls that you face but I think it’s upon us — us as an industry — to make the welcome mat very obvious, breeding opportunities for all people who want to be creative and paying it forward and creating that next generation of artists."
Portnow is committed to inclusion and diversification and is set on changing attitudes. We embrace that opportunity in full," he says now. "This task force is primed to have a meaningful impact on building a music community that is inclusive, welcoming, and open to all."
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