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Harvey Mason Jr. becomes official CEO of Recording Academy

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NEW YORK (AP) — Harvey Mason Jr. can drop the "interim" from his title: He's now the official president and CEO of The Recording Academy.

The Academy, which produces the Grammy Awards annually, made the announcement Thursday. Mason, a successful Grammy-nominated producer who has worked with Beyoncé, Chris Brown and Toni Braxton, has been the interim leader at the academy since January 2020. He was previously chair of the Academy's board.

Mason is the first Black president and CEO of the Academy. The announcement comes two weeks after the Academy voted to remove its anonymous nomination review committees — groups that determined the contenders for key awards at the coveted music show.

More: The Weeknd will continue to boycott Grammys despite academy changes to nominations process

Harvey Mason Jr. arrives at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards on March 14, 2021. Mason was named the official president and CEO of The Recording Academy May 13, 2021.
Harvey Mason Jr. arrives at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards on March 14, 2021. Mason was named the official president and CEO of The Recording Academy May 13, 2021.

“It’s been a year of unprecedented, transformational change for the Recording Academy, and I’m immensely proud to be able to continue our journey of growth with these latest updates to our awards process,” Mason said in a statement last month announcing the change.

“This is a new Academy, one that is driven to action and that has doubled down on the commitment to meeting the needs of the music community. While change and progress are key drivers of our actions, one thing will always remain — the Grammy Award is the only peer-driven and peer-voted recognition in music,” he continued. “We are honored to work alongside the music community year-round to further refine and protect the integrity of the awards process.”

The major change came months after The Weeknd blasted the Grammys and called them “corrupt” after he earned zero nominations for the 2021 show despite having the year’s biggest single with “Blinding Lights.”

Mason succeeded Deborah Dugan, the former CEO of Bono's (RED) charity organization who in 2019 became the first woman appointed to lead the organization. But she was fired 169 days after she took the job — days before the 2020 Grammys.

Dugan has since said the awards show was rigged and muddled with conflicts of interest.

Before Dugan's appointment, Neil Portnow led the Grammys since 2002. Michael Greene became the first official president and CEO of the academy in 1988.

More: Jay-Z, Tina Turner, Foo Fighters, more inducted into 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Harvey Mason Jr. becomes official CEO of Recording Academy

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