There is nothing more rewarding than having the trust and respect of your colleagues and peers,” Mason said in a statement. “I am honored to have been appointed to continue to lead the Recording Academy on our transformative journey. While I had not initially expected to be in this position, I remain deeply invested in the success of the organization and am motivated to help us achieve our greatest ambitions. I will serve humbly with a steadfast commitment to building a more inclusive, responsive and relevant Academy.”
Under Mason Jr., the academy has undergone dramatic changes since it officially terminated former president/CEO Deborah Dugan on March 2, 2020, after she had been placed on administrative leave six weeks earlier. She and the Recording Academy are in arbitration over her dismissal.
Last April, the academy hired Valeisha Butterfield Jones as its first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, as well as formed the Black Music Collective. Organized in September 2020, the BMC includes a number of prominent Black music creators and professionals with “the common goal of amplifying Black voices within the Academy.”
More recently, on April 30, the Recording Academy announced the trustees voted to disband the nominations review committees in general and genre fields for the Grammy Awards. The committees had the final say in determining the nominees in 59 of the 84 categories (two new categories were added in the same trustees meeting to bring the total to 86 categories). The reviews committees began in 1989 with the classical categories and was slowly adopted across many genre categories and the general fields over the years. Grammy voters will now determine the finalists in all but the craft categories, which will continue to use committees.
“I want to commend the search committee and our partners at Heidrick and Struggles for orchestrating a robust and exhaustive search for our next President and CEO,” said Tammy Hurt, vice chair of the Recording Academy. “I am not surprised that they faced a significant challenge in finding candidates that would meet the standard that has been set by Harvey during these past 16 months. He has led the Academy through one of the most difficult periods in our history. As a music creator himself, he has provided hope, inspiration and a vision for the future that we are well on our way to achieving. We are all thrilled that he has agreed to become our permanent CEO and will continue to lead us into the future.”
This is a developing story