Ozuna Among 2,321 People Invited to Join the Recording Academy

Ozunahas received a special invitation…

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican reggaetonand Latin trap singer is among the 2,321 people who’ve been invited to join the Recording Academy.

Ozuna

This year’s “freshman class,” as the academy calls it, is 48% female (compared to 49% in last year’s freshman class invites), 21% African American/African descent (compared to 26%), 8% Hispanic (compared to 7%), 3% Asian American/Pacific Islander/Asian (same as last year) and 51% people who are age 39 or younger (same as last year).

Some of those invited didn’t disclose their demographic details. On gender, 3% did not disclose. On ethnicity, 13% didn’t disclose. On age, a whopping 25% didn’t disclose.

Women account for 26% of the academy’s overall membership, not just the freshman class (same as last year). People from traditionally-underrepresented communities account for 25%, up a point from last year’s 24%. People who are age 39 or younger account for 25%, down from 29% last year.

According to the academy, 79% of this year’s freshman class is being invited as potential voting members, the other 21% as (non-voting) professional members.

Laura Segura, the executive director of MusiCares, said last year that it’ll become harder and harder for the Recording 

Academy to find qualified new members to invite unless the music industry extends more opportunities to women and people of color. 

“We will face challenges with future new member classes if not enough women and people of color are being hired, mentored and have access to opportunities to lead and excel,” she said.

The Academy also created a 90-minute video, “Your Academy: Welcoming the 2020 New Member Class,” in which both current members, like John Legend and Yolanda Adams, and 2020 invitees, including Ozuna, discuss membership. 

The discussion, held on Zoom on June 24, was moderated by Justin JosephGrammy.com editor-in-chief. The roundtable debuted today on GRAMMY.com.

In order to participate in the process for the upcoming Grammy Awards, prospective new members have to accept their invitations by September 15. 

The 63rd Grammy Awards are scheduled to take place on January 31, 2021, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

More information on the Recording Academy’s membership process and requirements can be found here. Full details surrounding the new class can be found here.

Mandy Gonzalez to Perform on PBS’ Virtual Independence Day Concert, “A Capitol Fourth”

Mandy Gonzalez has found her Independence

The 41-year-old half Mexican American actress/singer, best known for her leading roles on Broadway, will perform on PBS’ virtual Independence Day concert, A Capitol Fourth.

Mandy Gonzalez

Due to the continued coronavirus pandemic, PBS opted for a virtual Fourth of July event, instead of cancelling it completely.

A Capitol Fourth, now in its 40th year, will feature pre-taped performances from around the country, hosted by John Stamos and Vanessa Williams.

In addition to Gonzalez, who played Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked and originated the role of Nina Rosario in the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of the musical In the Heights, performers include Patti LaBelleJohn FogertyRenee Fleming,The TemptationsTrace AdkinsAndy GrammerYolanda Adams, Brantley GilbertLauren AlainaBrian Stokes-MitchellKelli O’Hara, and members of the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jack Everly.

Segments for the eventare being pre-taped, and the special also will feature highlights from previous years.

The 90-minute show also will feature a tribute by Stamos to workers on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis, with Chrissy Metz singing I’m Standing with You.

There will also be segments honoring African American heroes from the past and present, and a salute to wounded warriors. A live segment of the special will feature the annual fireworks display over the D.C. skyline.

“For four decades A Capitol Fourth has paid tribute to our nation’s birthday and the hopes and dreams of all Americans,” said executive producer Michael Colbert. “This year, our broadcast will reflect the reality of what we as a country have faced and the challenges ahead, while showcasing our message of inclusion, patriotism and love.”

The special will air on PBS on July 4 at 8:00 pm ET, and will be heard on the American Forces Network and in stereo over NPR member stations.  The concert also will be streamed on FacebookYouTube and PBS.org and will be available on demand from July 4-18.

Sanchez Gives Two Memorial Day Performances at the U.S. Capitol

She may have ended up losing the American Idol crown to Phillip PhillipsBut as she sang earlier this month, Jessica Sanchez is “not going” anywhere.

The 16-year-old half-Mexican songstress took her vocal talents to our nation’s capital to perform at the 2012 PBS National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, DC on Sunday.

Jessica Sanchez

During her first live post-Idol appearances, Sanchez performed twice on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The pint-sized singer, dressed in a floor-length blue evening gown, kicked off the annual Memorial Day concert by performing the National Anthem.

Sanchez later returned to the stage, in a white lace knee-length dress and strappy white heels, to perform Yolanda Adams’ “The Prayer.”

PBS’ annual event honors the men and women who have served in the military. Sanchez’s father—to whom she dedicated Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father” earlier in her Idol run—has served several tours of duty in Iraq and Kuwait with the Navy, and her grandfather is a retired Navy veteran.