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Music NFTs update: Grammys, Rolling Stone, ESP Guitars…

A number of famous music brands are jumping on the NFTs bandwagon this week, starting with the Grammy Awards. The Recording Academy is working with OneOf, the music NFTs firm that launched earlier this year touting its eco credentials, on a series of NFTs based on January 2022’s Grammy Awards.

Rolling Stone magazine is also exploring non-fungible tokens through a partnership with the team behind the lucrative Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs. An interview with the team will be accompanied by ‘digital cover image’ NFTs from the magazine, as part of a collection of seven that will launch on 8 November.

Finally, NFTs startup Fanaply is working with instrument brand ESP Guitars on a series of NFTs based on the latter company’s ‘Pyrograph’ guitars. Three NFTs have been released, each with only 30 versions available costing $100 each.

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MusiCares is surveying the music industry’s health and wellness

Saturday was World Mental Health Day, with a flurry of awareness-raising activity within the music industry as well as more generally.

One of the more significant announcements, in the US, came from the Recording Academy’s MusiCares charity. It’s launching a survey of music industry professionals – those with more than five years’ experience – about their mental and physical health and wellness.

The plan is to run the research every year, with this first survey open for responses until 9 November. Its results will be published early in 2021.

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The Grammy Museum is launching its own streaming service

The latest new music streaming service is the work of… the Recording Academy? Well, the US industry body’s Grammy Museum anyway.

It’s launching a service called Collection:live, which will offer a mixture of artist interviews, performances and livestreams, as well as footage from the Grammy Awards archives.

Hans Zimmer, Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell are among the first artists to be featured for its launch on 17 September, along with Glass Animals, Selena Gomez, Run The Jewels and Tones and I.

BTS, Poo Bear, Rufus Wainwright, Sparks and Tame Impala are among those lined up for the following week.

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Recording Academy stresses diversity of its new members

US industry body the Recording Academy has faced a lot of criticism about the diversity of its membership in recent years. It’s hoping to win some praise for its 2020 intake though.

More than 2,300 new people have been invited to join, and while the big names include John Legend, Ozuna and Yolanda Adams, it’s the demographics of the whole group that the organisation is keen to shout about.

“The 2020 class of invitees is 48 percent female, 21 percent African American African descent, eight percent Hispanic, and three percent Asian American and Pacific Islander,” explained its announcement. “The representation of this class also spans ages, genre and region.”

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Recording Academy teams with racial justice org Color of Change

US industry body the Recording Academy has announced a partnership with racial justice organisation Color of Change, including making a $1m donation to it.

The pair will be working together on initiatives including creating a Black music advisory group for the Academy; a membership campaign to sign up more Black voting members; and an industry-wide diversity and inclusion summit.

Color of Change will also be advising the Academy on its plans to launch an industry ‘Inclusion Rider and Toolkit’ later this year.