For the First Time, People of Color Dominate Recording Academy Board of Trustees: Exclusive

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One-third of the 45 trustees are Grammy winners, including John Legend, Dave Cobb, Yolanda Adams & Angelique Kidjo.

For the first time, people of color make up the majority of the Recording Academy’s board of trustees, accounting for 53% of the newly constituted board, while Caucasians account for the remaining 47%. Males account for 56% of the new board, while females account for 44%.

The Recording Academy provided that breakdown by ethnicity and gender in sharing with Billboard the results of its board elections on Friday (July 9).

A total of 45 people sit on the new board, including the four previously announced officers: Tammy Hurt (from the Academy’s Atlanta chapter), national chair; Rico Love (Florida), vice chair; Om’Mas Keith (Los Angeles), secretary/treasurer; and Christine Albert (Texas), chair emeritus. All of these officers are in their first terms, except for Albert, who is in her third term.

One-third of the 45 trustees are Grammy winners. They are, listed in descending order by number of Grammys won: John Legend (12); Dave Cobb (six); Leslie Ann Jones (five); Yolanda Adams, Jimmy Douglass, Lisa Kaplan and Angelique Kidjo (four each); Terri Lyne Carrington and PJ Morton (three each); Natalia Ramirez (two); and Cheche Alara, Claudia Brant, David "Swagg R' Celious" Harris, Om'Mas Keith and Julia Michels (one each).

Here’s a closer look at the board of trustees, broken down whether the trustees were newly elected this year, re-elected this year or are midterm in their first or second terms.

First term – elected 2021

Eighteen trustees were elected to their first terms, including four who were elected as part of a national at-large election. This strategy was first adopted last year to bring greater balance to the board once the results of the rest of the trustees elections are known. (The board of governors of each of the Academy’s 12 chapters elects that chapter’s trustees.  These at-large trustees – a concept championed by the Academy’s diversity and inclusion task force – are elected by Recording Academy members nationwide.)

Elected in the national at-large election were Maria Elisa Ayerbe (Florida), Dave Cobb (Nashville), Angelique Kidjo (New York) and Anna Frick (San Francisco).

Eleven trustees were elected to their first terms by their respective board of governors – Kennard Garrett (Atlanta), J Ivy (Chicago), Ferddy Calderon (Washington D.C.), Cheche Alara (Los Angeles), Evan Bogart (Los Angeles), Tracy Gershon (Nashville), Jennifer Hanson (Nashville), Dave Gross (Pacific Northwest), David "Swagg R'Celious" Harris (New York), Marcus Baylor (Philadelphia), and Bernard “Bun B” Freeman (Texas).

Back on the board after taking a required hiatus are Beth Cohen (Florida), Susan Marshall (Memphis) and Larry Batiste (San Francisco). (The Academy counts these returnees as being in their first terms because they’re in the first terms of their current tenure on the board.)

Second term – elected 2021

Three trustees were elected to their second terms: Julia Michels (Los Angeles), Samantha Cox (New York) and Riggs Morales (New York)

First term (midterm – elected 2020)

Fifteen trustees are midterm, having been first been elected to their current terms last year. These include four trustees who were elected as part of the Academy’s first national at-large election: Chelsey Green (Washington D.C.), Carolyn Malachi (Washington D.C.), Natalia Ramirez (Florida), and PJ Morton (Memphis).

Nine trustees who were elected by the boards of governors of their respective chapters are midterm. They are: Thom “TK” Kidd (Atlanta), Lisa Kaplan (Chicago), Von Vargas Smith (Washington D.C.), Doug Emery (Florida), Jimmy Douglass (Florida), John Legend (Los Angeles), Gebre Waddell (Memphis), Andrew Joslyn (Pacific Northwest) and Carol Riddick (Philadelphia).

Two mid-term trustees previously served on the board but had to take a required hiatus. They are Michael Romanowski (San Francisco) and Yolanda Adams (Texas).

Second term (midterm – elected 2020)

Terri Lyne Carrington (New York) is midway through her second term.

Four other trustees are midway through their second terms after having taken a required hiatus: Claudia Brant (Los Angeles), George Flanigen (Nashville), Fletcher Foster (Nashville) and Leslie Ann Jones (San Francisco).

Trustees may serve two two-year terms, after which they have to take a year off before being able to run for additional terms.