Grammys CEO on R. Kelly, Wallen, cancel culture

BURBANK, Calif. – Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. spoke to The Linked Push about endeavours to make the Grammy’s far more inclusive. He also talked about other happenings in the songs market and terminate culture.

Mason dealt with the rumors about R. Kelly’s Grammys currently being rescinded now that the singer has a criminal conviction and region singer Morgan Wallen’s nominations status following his use of racial slurs.

He also touched on the academy getting to be a position to educate musicians who may possibly be misinformed on particular subjects these kinds of as range, inclusion, race relations and LGBTQ issues.

He also opened up about why he lowercased “jr.” in his name — to “make my possess lane” although honoring his musician father.

Here are outtakes from the interview:




R. Kelly might have his freedom taken away soon after his the latest felony conviction on intercourse trafficking charges, but the R&B superstar’s Grammys won’t be stripped from him – at least, for now.

Mason known as Kelly’s steps “disturbing.”

The “I Believe that I Can Fly” singer was convicted final thirty day period in New York. He was observed responsible on nine counts, which includes racketeering. The 54-yr-previous singer had managed to stay clear of lawful and specialist repercussions following decades of reports that he sexually abused young women of all ages and children. He was also accused of producing a recording of himself sexually abusing and urinating on a 14-12 months-previous lady.

In spite of the acts connected to Kelly, Mason said the singer’s 3 Grammys will stay with him for now. He, together with the academy, will go on to consider their decision with caution.


“I consider it is a little something that we’re going to require to take a superior really hard look at, have a whole lot of discussions about, function through and make a choice,” Mason said. In 1997, Kelly received Grammys in 3 distinctive classes for “I Consider I Can Fly” from the “Space Jam” soundtrack.

“But suitable now, I think it’s a little something that is likely to choose a small bit a lot more thing to consider in advance of we can seriously dictate or decide,” he ongoing. “My original feeling is we are possibly not a company that we want to be in of taking people’s awards again after they’ve been given. But we’ll get a superior appear at it and see.”

Only one particular trophy has been revoked in the 62-calendar year background of the Grammys, in accordance to the Recording Academy. The award to pop duo Milli Vanilli was stripped in 1990 soon after the team admitted to lip-synching the “Girl You Know It is True” album.



Region star Morgan Wallen was rebuked by the new music field immediately after a online video earlier this 12 months confirmed him blurting out a racial slur —- which Mason says was “disturbing” to listen to.


“I of course was incredibly offended,” reported Mason, who is Black. “I was upset for the tunes local community in common since I do not like to see any of our tunes household either performing like that or feeling unpleasant since of someone’s steps.”

The disgraced singer was dropped by his tunes label, disqualified from the Academy of State Songs Awards, and his songs was quickly pulled by radio stations and streaming stations. But despite his racial remark, the “Whiskey Glasses” singer noticed his album income soar.

Wallen garnered several nominations at the future Country Music Affiliation Awards — where he was nominated for the prestigious album of the 12 months — and Billboard Audio Awards, but he was not invited to either present.

It seems the Grammys will observe match. But there is a likelihood Wallen — who apologized for his actions — could acquire nominations in key types following month with the achievements of “Dangerous: The Double Album,” which is just one of the most popular albums launched this yr across all genres.


With the peer-pushed voting program, Mason claims Wallen becoming nominated or not is out of the Recording Academy’s regulate. But the group can dictate whether he can attend or participate in any Grammy functions — such as the 64th annual awards clearly show on Jan. 31.

Moreover, Mason does not want to penalize all those who labored on Wallen’s album for the reason that of his missteps.

“The point we can control is our Grammy phase, our purple carpet, our gatherings — not just Grammy season, but all year,” he claimed. “Those are the matters that we’ll be on the lookout at as it relates to artists and their habits, their speech, the points they say, the way they act and producing evaluations dependent on the items that we can regulate.”


Terminate Tradition

Mason understands the terminate culture’s “outcry for improve,” which he completely supports. But he doesn’t want to overreact in advance of figuring out the info in any predicament.

“Cancel lifestyle has a intent in the sense that there is a have to have for change and accountability, and I regard that,” he claimed. “But conversely, I’m not a enthusiast of casting anyone out on a rumor or on somebody’s word with no a serious investigation or devoid of genuine information. And which is actually my stance.”


This summertime, DaBaby confronted large backlash soon after he made crude and homophobic remarks at a Miami-spot new music festival. The rapper apologized two times — including after to the LGBTQ+ community — for his opinions and reported he was misinformed about HIV/AIDS right after he was slice from a number of music pageant lineups.

Mason hopes the Recording Academy can come to be a position to educate musicians who might be misinformed on certain matters such as diversity, inclusion, race relations and LGBTQ concerns.

“There’s an possibility to teach persons to use audio or it’s possible their platform or the stage of our display to shine a mild on items that could be carried out superior or performed differently in regards to some of the contentious issues that we’ve experienced in our country and in our community,” he reported. “So I’m absolutely hunting forward to tackling some of that. I know it’s a minimal sticky. I may possibly get defeat up in excess of it, but I’m unquestionably heading to attempt it.”




When Mason was in higher college, he desired to develop his have id while shelling out homage to his famed father Harvey Mason Sr., the Grammy-nominated jazz drummer of the group Fourplay.

So, Mason made a decision to lowercase “jr.” in his name.

“I wanted to make my own lane and I required to have my personal house, but I also needed to honor my father,” claimed Mason, whose father has been nominated 10 situations.

“I was attempting to locate the sweet spot among obtaining my have accomplishments and currently being my possess individual, but also acknowledging my father,” he continued. “He was outstanding. He blazed a path for me and a great deal of other tunes folks. I also assume it seems to be way superior. Superficial causes.”

Mason is a 5-time nominee.



Even however the CBS’ Grammys viewership numbers saw a decrease, Mason claims possibly the standard “old school ratings” are not painting the comprehensive image.

“I imagine use routines are switching,” he mentioned. This year’s telecast achieved 9.2 million viewers – television and streaming. It is really the lowest selection on report and a 51% drop from past year, the Nielsen firm said.


“I imagine the conventional form of aged college scores of who’s observing CBS amongst 7 and 11 (p.m.) are probably not supplying us all the information and facts,” he ongoing. “I know that we’re hearing really excellent things on the digital side, on the streaming aspect and other substitute strategies of observing the present.”

With Viacom wading far more into the streaming space, Mason wants to see how the Grammys evolves into that area. The 57th Academy of Country Music Awards will transfer from a Tv network to stream on Amazon Primary Movie following year.

The Grammys and CBS have five decades remaining on their broadcast deal.

“We’ll go more than the subsequent several several years, we’ll see how our present likely evolves into that spot and channel,” Mason explained. “I’m hopeful that we can locate a excellent way to continue to keep developing and continue to keep doing work with each other. … CBS has been our lover for a very extensive time. We really like our partnership and seem ahead to carry on in what ever form that requires us, irrespective of whether that is conventional or streaming or regardless of what new format that will come up in the subsequent five years.”

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