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Incoming Recording Academy boss promises ‘new perspective’


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Deborah Dugan has been confirmed as the new president and CEO of the US Recording Academy, replacing outgoing boss Neil Portnow. Dugan has promised that she is keen for the organisation to use its platform “to affect positive change” – including around diversity in the music industry, an issue which saw Portnow cause controversy last year with his ‘step up’ comments on women in the music business.

Dugan is the former CEO of (RED), the non-profit organisation focused on AIDS, with a background at Disney Publishing Worldwide and EMI/Capitol Records before that.

“I’m excited to bring new perspective,” Dugan told Billboard. “I’ve had an unconventional path, I feel like I’m quite millennial-minded and I just love music and know that it touches us all…. I think you’ll see from of my work at The Moth and at (RED) what I do is try to amplify many voices in a world that often crushes them. And so I am just looking at this new opportunity as a service: how to be relevant and reflective of the artists community in a time of rapid change… I intend to do everything I can to make the Recording Academy, the entertainment industry and our society more inclusive and more equitable.”

Stuart Dredge

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