The Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective announced Wednesday (Feb. 23) that it will host its inaugural event during Grammy Week 2021 to amplify Black professionals in the music industry.
Grammy-winning artists Yolanda Adams, H.E.R., PJ Morton and first-time Grammy-nominated rapper and producer duo Freddie Gibbs & Alchemist will be performing at the virtual event, which will be hosted live by BMC Executive Sponsor Jeriel Johnson on March 10, four days before its March 14 date. Adams and H.E.R. are two of the six artists who were elected to the BMC’s leadership council last October
Four of the six honorary chairs — Jimmy Jam, Quincy Jones, former chairman/CEO of BET Networks Debra Lee and Jeff Harleston, executive vp of business & legal affairs for North America of Universal Music Group — will engage in intimate reflections. (Jam and Lee previously served together on the Recording Academy’s diversity and inclusion task force.) Their fellow honorary chair John Legend, Janelle Monáe, Issa Rae and activist Tamika Mallory will participate in fireside chats about the Black experience and social justice. The specific topics covered in the program include the impact of Black music, the culture shifting power of Black music, the impact of Black women in music, and the power, purpose, and progress of the state of Black music.
“As the first of its kind, we created this event with every intention to amplify Black voices and each of our experiences within the industry,” said Harvey Mason Jr., chair and interim president/CEO of the Recording Academy, in an official statement. “The BMC will continue to foster a space for members and industry professionals to educate and elevate Black creators during Grammy Week and beyond.”
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The Recording Academy announced the formation of the BMC on Sept. 3, 2020, describing the new entity as “a group of Black music creators and professionals who share the common goal of amplifying Black voices within the Academy and the music community.” On Monday, the BMC partnered with Amazon Music to announce a multi-year scholarship and mentorship program for select students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).
“We are thrilled to announce this virtual program as the BMC continues to celebrate Black music and those who share our mission to foster and accelerate Black representation, equity and inclusion throughout the music industry,” said Riggs Morales, BMC chair and Atlantic Records executive. “The Black Music Collective will continue to tailor events for Black creators to feel uplifted and supported and we are excited for this Grammy Week kickoff.”
The BMC’s first-ever Grammy Week event will take place March 10 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Grammy.com. This event is open to the public and no RSVP or registration is required.