Recording Academy Adds New Members to Its Black Music Collective

The Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective (BMC) has added new music creators and professionals to its honorary chairs and leadership council.

Yolanda Adams, Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Ethiopia Habtemariam and Yvette Noel-Schure are new honorary chairs. Adams was previously on the BMC leadership council. Jones was until recently co-president of the Recording Academy. They join returning honorary chairs Jeff Harleston, Jimmy Jam, Quincy Jones and John Legend.

Rico Love is the new BMC chair, succeeding Riggs Morales. Love is also vice chair of the Recording Academy’s board of trustees.

“The Black Music Collective has remained steadfast in its mission to advance Black music since its founding in 2020,” Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have inaugural members of the BMC returning and honored to have an esteemed community of new industry leaders joining us to accelerate progress. Black music is an integral part of all music, and we are committed to the long-term work required to drive real and measurable change.”

“There have been moments where I knew I had to be the one [who] young girls saw pick up a guitar, or advocate for the right to be creatively free, to stand for myself,” said singer-songwriter, musician and actress Yola, who is joining the leadership council. “They needed to see a dark-skinned, plus-size woman do that, so this moment feels like a deepening of my mission for representation for all of that. For this and so many more reasons, I’m so profoundly honored to join the Black Music Collective leadership council.”

Since the launch of the BMC in 2020, its top initiatives and events have included a collaboration with Amazon Music for the Your Future Is Now scholarship, the launch of the HBCU Love Tour created in partnership with GRAMMY U and the inaugural Recording Academy Honors Presented By The Black Music Collective event, where Legend received the first-ever Recording Academy Global Impact Award along with D-Nice, Love Renaissance, MC Lyte and Morales.

The Black Music Collective’s honorary chairs and leadership council include the following new and returning members. These music professionals will work with the Academy’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team and BMC leads Ryan Butler and Ricky Lyon.

Honorary Chairs

New

    Yolanda Adams

    Valeisha Butterfield Jones

    Ethiopia Habtemariam

    Yvette Noel-Schure

Returning

    Jeff Harleston

    Jimmy Jam

    Quincy Jones

    John Legend

Leadership Council

New

    Prince Charles Alexander

    Jimmie Allen

    Denzel Baptiste & David Biral (Take a Daytrip)

    Jennifer Goicoechea

    Mickey Guyton

    Claudine Joseph

    Ledisi

    Herb Trawick

    Ebonie Ward

    Yola

Returning

    Brianna Agyemang

    Tunde Balogun

    Tuma Basa

    Catherine Brewton

    Binta Niambi Brown

    Terri Lyne Carrington

    D-Nice

    Phylicia Fant

    H.E.R.

    Jeriel Johnson

    Om’Mas Keith

    Rico Love, Chair

    Heather Lowery

    MixedByAli

    Riggs Morales

    Steve Pamon

    Tayla Parx

    Ryan Press

    Rashad Robinson

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    Jamila Thomas