Recording Academy Chairman/CEO Neil Portnow's Welcome Letter To the Grammy Awards in Billboard's Special Issue

2016 Grammy roundtable featuring Ken Erlich, Big Sean, Dianne Warren, Neil Prtnow, Jack Antonoff and Steve Barnett
Christopher Patey

2016 Grammy roundtable featuring Ken Ehrlich, Big Sean, Diane Warren, Neil Portnow, Jack Antonoff and Steve Barnett photographed on Dec. 2, 2015 at The Recording Academy in Santa Monica, Calif.

Dear Readers,

On behalf of The Recording Academy, it is my great pleasure to invite you to join us as we gear up for our 58th Annual Grammy Awards on Monday, February 15, 2016. We are proud to share in the celebration, and congratulate this year's esteemed nominees across all 83 categories.

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I’m particularly delighted to see the ingenuity that makes up today’s musical landscape. What is particularly evident this year is the amount of ownership and risk artists are currently taking, not allowing anything to confine their art. Personally, I feel inspired by the innovation that musicians are bringing to their craft, which sends such a positive message to the entire creative community. 

Christopher Patey
Neil Portnow

After the nominations are revealed, the inevitable horserace storylines follow. It's important for the music community to remember that the excellence exhibited in the Grammy Award elevates all of us by instilling a sense of pride among artists and by increasing the value placed on the art among fans.

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This year’s nominations are a reflection of what's happening in music today; the reason you can see that so clearly is because they're determined by serious and professional music makers who comprise our Academy membership. To preserve a space where craft is put first and artistry is revered, it's important these members all participate in shaping the Grammy Awards process, first and foremost, by voting.

What has distinguished the Grammy Award from all other music awards for 58 years is our artist-driven, peer-voting process, honoring musical excellence above all, regardless of commercial success. As an Academy comprised of members from all walks of life and disciplines of music, our role is to ensure that music remains a valued and celebrated part of our culture.

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It's up to us to continue this legacy. 

Kind regards,

Neil Portnow
The Recording Academy

A portion of this letter originally appeared in the Jan. 2 issue of Billboard.

2016 Grammys