For years, people have criticized the Grammys for historically recognizing white artists over talented Black and brown musicians, and this year the Recording Academy received similar backlash. Three musicians nominated for Best Children’s Album even asked for their nominations to be removed this year in protest of the all-white category. But the Recording Academy is trying to appease their critics by breaking ground on the first-ever Black Music Collective pre-Grammy event, which will highlight iconic Black musicians making waves in the industry today.
The event will feature performances by Grammy-winning artists HER, PJ Morton, and Yolanda Adams. Freddie Gibbs, who is now a first-time Grammy nominee, is also set to perform with The Alchemist. Along with live music, honorary chairs John Legend, Janelle Monáe, Issa Rae, Jimmy Jam, Quincy Jones, and activist Tamika Mallory will join in for fireside chats about racial justice and the Black experience.
In a statement about the inaugural event, chair and interim president/CEO of the Recording Academy Harvey Mason Jr. said they intend to “amplify Black voices” with the event:
“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. The BMC will continue to foster a space for members and industry professionals to educate and elevate Black creators during Grammy Week and beyond.”
Echoing Mason Jr.’s statement, BMC chair and Atlantic Records executive Riggs Morales expressed his excitement about the event: “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. 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 Black Music Collective pre-Grammy event kicks off 3/10 at 5 p.m. PST. Watch it here.
Some of the artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.