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Grammy Execs Agree That Best Children’s Album Nominees Are Not Diverse

High Recording Academy officers agreed with Grammy nominees for finest kids’s album that the 2021 nominations for the class should not numerous, in keeping with a report in Billboard.

The article states that in a Dec. 11 assembly with members of the Household Music Ahead group and two acts that requested for his or her nominations to be withdrawn from the class, Recording Academy officers — together with interim president/CEO Harvey Mason, jr. and chief range officer Valeisha Butterfield Jones — conceded that the nominees and the nomination-review committee for the class weren’t sufficiently numerous.

Early final month, the Okee Dokee Brothers, Alastair Moock and collaborator Anand Nayak, and the kids’s act Canine on Fleas publicly requested the Academy to withdraw their nominations from the class as a result of all the nominees have been white. Following the Dec. 11 assembly, the Academy decided that the three acts is not going to be included and the Grammy for the class will go to which of the 2 remaining nominees, Joanie Leeds and Justin Roberts, will get probably the most votes.

The controversy was certainly one of a number of across the 2021 nominations and significantly the key committees that decide them. Disputes come up round nominations for just about each main awards occasion, however the Grammys have been significantly criticized for a scarcity of racial and gender range of their nominees and award winners in recent times, as mirrored by the uproar round former CEO Neil Portnow’s 2018 remark that feminine musicians and executives have to “step up” with a view to advance within the trade.

Range is just not the one situation that has introduced criticism to the nominating committees: many trade insiders have been shocked that the Weeknd, one of the crucial critically and commercially profitable artists of the previous 12 months and decade, obtained no nominations whereas many extra area of interest artists did, and in addition questioned why such equally profitable artists as Lil Child, Roddy Ricch, Lil Uzi Vert and the late Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke have been largely ignored within the rap classes. Whereas range was not at situation with these issues, in a blockbuster authorized criticism in opposition to the Academy final 12 months, former president-CEO Deborah Dugan alleged that board members on the 12-to-17-member “secret committees” that select the nominees characterize or have relationships with nominated artists and use the committees as a chance to push these artists ahead, amongst different allegations.

The Academy, which has forcefully denied these allegations, has lengthy maintained that the identities of the committee members is saved secret to keep away from outdoors stress, regardless of rising stress to make the method extra clear; Dugan’s authorized criticism is ongoing.

Nevertheless, in keeping with kids’s music artist Aaron Nigel Smith, who was current on the Dec. 11 assembly, a Recording Academy rep responded to the FMF’s name for “extra transparency in the complete voting course of, together with an overhaul of the nomination evaluation committee” by reiterating the “want for defense and privateness,” however added, “Nothing is off the desk, and we are going to proceed to judge,” in keeping with the report.

Reached by Selection, reps for the Recording Academy didn’t dispute the report, however didn’t instantly have additional remark.

Additionally current on the roundtable dialogue have been different Academy officers and youngsters’s music artists Smith, Christina Sanabria of 123 Andres, Pierce Freelon, Joe Mailander of the Okee Dokee Brothers and Moock, all of whom are members of the FMF, an artists’ collective fashioned final 12 months summer time to fight racial bias within the music trade.

The Academy responded shortly after Household Music Ahead complained publicly on Dec. 4 in regards to the all-white nominee slate, and arrange a Zoom assembly for Dec. 11, in keeping with the report. Current have been all the class nominees — Mailander and Justin Lansing of the Okee Dokee Brothers, Moock, Dean Jones of Canine on Fleas, Joanie Leeds and Justin Roberts, who’s an Academy trustee — in addition to Lucy Kalantari, the frontwoman of Lucy & The Jazz Cats, and Black kids’s music artists Smith, Uncle Devin, his supervisor Lolita Walker and Tommy Shepherd of the ABC Rockers. Mason and Butterfield Jones have been among the many Academy officers who took half within the assembly, in keeping with the report.

“The large factor that the Grammys admitted in that assembly was that the nomination evaluation committee [for the category] didn’t have robust illustration from individuals of shade,” Mailander mentioned. “That was mentioned outright — they mentioned it ought to have been stronger, and that it was unacceptable.”

The kids’s music class has included nominees of shade in 4 of the previous 5 years, and whereas it is among the extra area of interest genres within the Grammy purview, it’s nonetheless a shocking state of affairs to have in 2021. “I’d say it is a particular class that basically must have specialists that perceive the various array of genres,” mentioned Mailander. “They didn’t have that, and it’s embarrassing to our class.”  Nevertheless, Smith mentioned the Academy “appeared to be on board for creating significant change.”

Earlier this week, the Grammy Awards have been moved to March 14 because of the spike in Covid-19 instances within the Los Angeles space. The ceremony, hosted by “The Every day Exhibits”’s Trevor Noah, is at the moment scheduled to happen in varied areas in and across the Los Angeles Conference Middle.


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