Recording Academy Announces Black Leadership Council to Amplify Black Voices

Aloe Blacc, left; H.E.R.; DJ D-Nice; Yolanda Adams
Aloe Blacc, left; H.E.R.; DJ D-Nice; Yolanda Adams
Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images (Getty Images), Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images (Getty Images), Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Mark Pitts & Bystorm Ent (Getty Images), Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for BET (Getty Images)

Imagine a Grammy-based Guardians of the Galaxy elite force of equity and inclusion heroes, whose mission is to make sure Black voices are amplified...


Well, the Recording Academy has announced something like that, revealing its Black Leadership Council on Thursday. As part of its newly launched Black Music Collective, the council will be “dedicated to progressing the Recording Academy’s mission to achieve equitable representation across its membership and the music industry.”

“This is a new era of change for the Recording Academy and we are honored to have these leading artists, executives, producers and engineers who are all at the top of their fields join us for such an important moment in our world, our nation and our industry,” Harvey Mason Jr., Chair and Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy said in a statement. “Black music is part of the fabric of our industry and it is so reassuring to stand with these leaders to create momentum, bring change and amplify Black voices.”

Per the press release sent to The Root:

The collective will serve as a space for members to speak openly about new and emerging opportunities in Black music alongside an inspiring group of groundbreaking Black music creators and business leaders. Leadership has already begun creating and identifying programming that will encourage the acceleration of Black membership within the Academy. The following list of accomplished music professionals will join Honorary Chairs Jeffrey Harleston, Jimmy Jam, Quincy Jones, Debra Lee, John Legend, and Sylvia Rhone, and work hand in hand to elevate the mission of the collective. Recording Academy Trustee Riggs Morales serves as the BMC Chair and Washington, D.C. Chapter Executive Director Jeriel Johnson is the Executive Sponsor.

Notable members of this new Black-ass music coalition consists of Yolanda Adams, D-Nice, Aloe Blacc (who joined us for an empowering chat at The Root Institute this summer), and H.E.R., just to name a few.

“Our time is now and I’m so excited to add my voice in whatever way I can to honor those who came before me, those who worked building the foundation in this important work in music,” H.E.R. said in a statement. “Initiatives like this help give a voice to young and emerging artists who dream of an even bigger future. We’re all in this together.”


“We’re energized by our partnership with such an esteemed group of Black music leaders who share our mission to foster and accelerate Black representation, equity and inclusion throughout the music industry,” Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of the Recording Academy added. “We’ve doubled down on our partnership with these leaders and are committed to the work ahead.”

The complete list of Black Leadership Council Members include:

Yolanda Adams, Artist
Brianna Agyemang, Executive
Derek “MixedByAli” Ali, Engineer
Tunde Balogun, Executive
Tuma Basa, Executive
Aloe Blacc, Artist
Boi-1da, Producer
Catherine Brewton, Executive
Terri Lyne Carrington, Musician
D-Nice, Artist
Phylicia Fant, Executive
H.E.R., Artist
Om’Mas Keith, Producer
Rico Love, Songwriter
Heather Lowery, Executive
Riggs Morales, Executive and BMC Chair
Steve Pamon, Executive
Tayla Parx, Songwriter
Ryan Press, Executive
Rashid Shabazz, Executive
Jamila Thomas, Executive
Dion “No-I.D.” Wilson, Producer

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.



Great news! Now Kanye will have more grammy’s to piss on and the healing can finally begin!