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Recording Academy invites 900 new voting members in diversity push

The invitees are all women and/or people of color and/or under the age of 39.
Image: Grammy Awards
The Recording Academy formed a task force on diversity and inclusion last year in response to criticism of past Grammy Award nominations.Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

In a bid to boost diversity, the organization that puts on the Grammy Awards has invited 900 people to join as voting members.

The invitees are all women and/or people of color and/or under the age of 39, the Recording Academy confirmed in an email.

The news was first reported by Billboard.

The move follows recommendations from the academy's task force on diversity and inclusion, a group formed earlier this year and chaired by Tina Tchen, a former chief of staff to Michelle Obama.

It also comes nearly nine months after outgoing academy chairman Neil Portnow provoked backlash for telling a reporter that women executives and musicians need to "step up" in order to receive equal treatment.

Portnow, who also drew criticism for producing a Grammy ceremony that many critics thought underrepresented women, announced in late May that he will step down next year.

The academy reportedly described the new members as "music creators," from singers and songwriters to producers and engineers.

The organization also confirmed greater diversity on the 16 committees that determine the final Grammy nominees in craft and other specialized categories.

As of this year, the composition of the Nominations Review Committees is 51 percent women and 48 percent people of color, an increase from last year's composition of 20 percent women and 30 percent people of color.