Colombian star J Balvin had been reminiscing about his first-ever appearance at Premios Juventud sharing throwback videos on social media that showed a young Balvin attending the awards show a few years back.
The clips he shared teased his return to the latest edition of Premios Juventud where he was the recipient of the Agent of Change Awards at this year’s ceremony which took place for the first time in Puerto Rico. The “Niño Soñador” singer took the stage to accept the honor and give a heartfelt speech.
“The love in Puerto Rico feels awesome,” he began. “Thanks for the vibe, always. Music is a medium to be able to connect with people, the youth, with everyone that follows us. It’s ok to not always feel good. There are moments when we’re in darkness but, at the end of the day, the light returns. I’m a human being like everyone else here. We have our wins and we have losses. We have difficult moments but the truth always wins. I want to say hello to my mom. Madre, we’re still here.”
— Premios Juventud (@PremiosJuventud) July 22, 2022
This year, Premios Juventud announced the first-ever Agent of Change Grant presented by the hitmaker. It was established to recognize individuals or entities who are committed to driving positive change in the community, and the world, according to a press release. The first grant will pledge $25,000 to an individual or organization making strides in mental health and wellness.
Closing the awards show with a bang, Balvin took the stage to sing a medley of his biggest hits such as “6 AM,” “Reggaeton,” “Ay Vamos,” and “In Da Getto.”
This year, 10 new categories were added to Premios Juventud: female artist – on the rise, male artist – on the rise, my favorite actor, my favorite actress, best onscreen couple, my favorite streaming artist, best couple song, tropical hit, the best beatmakers, and best fandom. Premios Juventud winners are determined by fan votes.
This year, the awards show — which aired live on Univision — was co-hosted by bachata crooner Prince Royce, Grupo Firme’s Eduin Caz, Mexican pop star Danna Paola, and television personality Clarissa Molina.
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New Music Releases Aug. 12: Megan Thee Stallion, Nicki Minaj, Anitta, Maluma and More
Happy New Music Friday! It’s every audiophile’s favorite day of the week, and some of our favorite artists from all different genres have blessed us with new tunes.
Megan Thee Stallion thrilled the Hotties with the release of her new album, Traumazine, with features from Latto, Rico Nasty, Jhene Aiko and more. Nicki Minaj made it a one-two punch for the rap queens with her highly anticipated new single “Super Freaky Girl.” And Beyoncé gave fans a bonus following her RENAISSANCE release, collaborating with Ronald Isley on a reimagined Isley Brothers track, “Make Me Say It Again, Girl.”
Anitta and Maluma teamed up for passionate duet on “El Que Espera,” Ed Sheeran joined Paulo Londra for a bilingual release, “Noche de Novela,” and JID recruited Kenny Mason for his new track “Dance Now.”
Plus, new music from Rex Orange County, Cordae, Ari Lennox, NIKI, First Aid Kit, Broken Bells and more!
Read on to check out some of our favorite recommendations for new songs and albums to listen to this week — plus, where you can stream them now!
Traumazine – Megan Thee Stallion
“Make Me Say It Again, Girl” – Ronald Isley & Beyoncé
“El Que Espera” – Anitta & Maluma
“Super Freaky Girl” – Nicki Minaj
“THREAT” – Rex Orange County
Beautiful Mind – Rod Wave
“Dance Now” – JID feat. Kenny Mason
“Noche de Novela” – Paulo Londra feat. Ed Sheeran
“Unacceptable” With That” – Cordae
“Hoodie” – Ari Lennox
“Smoke Slow” – Joshua Bassett
Nicole – NIKI
“Better Love” – Little Big Town
“Seamless” – Babyface & Kehlani
Seasick – AUGUST08
“Saturdays” – Broken Bells
“Out of My Head” – First Aid Kit
“Charlie” – Tones And I
“The Look” – Ali Gatie feat. Kehlani
Chaos in Bloom – Goo Goo Dolls
No Rules Sandy – Sylvan Esso
You Might Not Like Her – Maddie Zahm
“I Hope That It Hurts” – Nicky Romero feat. Norma Jean Martine
“Dear Alcohol” – Dax feat. Elle King
“People Ain’t Dancing” – Billen Ted feat. Kah-Lo
Hotel Kalifornia – Hollywood Undead
“Sci-Fi” – EDEN
Dolls EP – Bella Poarch
“Wild Girls” – Sorana
Vibrating – Collective Soul
“Keep Her” – Jake Miller
“Superspreader” – Ber
Unwanted – Pale Waves
“Never End Up Broke Pt. 2” – Symba feat. Pusha T
Songs From Bell Bottom Country – Lainey Wilson
“Worth It” – Hailey Kilgore
“Boogie Woogie” – CRAVITY
“Gasoline” – Hayley Orrantia
“Girl in Mine” – Parmalee
teaching a robot to love (additional data) – Amelia Moore
“Hard Candy” – The Summer Set
“Better Off Alone” – Justice Carradine
“Forever Drunk” – Peach PRC
“Fast Car” – Have Mercy
“NO!” – Poppy Ajudha
Make a Little Room – Steve Moakler
“Habits” – Genevieve Stokes
“Normal To Feel” – YDE
“Playing Chess” – Giolì & Assia
“Celine” – Quinn Christopherson
Beautiful Dangerous – Heart of Gold
“Something” – Lulu Simon
“Time Is A Healer” – Jessie Baylin
“Do It” – Hallie
“Business of Breaking Up” – Casi Joy
Read the full article here
Michelle Branch Arrested for Domestic Assault
Michelle Branch was arrested for domestic assault, the Nashville police department confirmed to Variety. The arrest took place following the announcement that Branch was splitting from her husband of three years, “The Black Keys” drummer Patrick Carney. TMZ first reported the arrest, adding that court documents revealed Branch had slapped Carney in the face “one to two times.” Branch’s bail was set at $1,000.
Branch and Carney married in 2019. Branch said in a statement to TMZ while announcing the split: “To say that I am totally devastated doesn’t even come close to describing how I feel for myself and for my family. The rug has been completely pulled from underneath me and now I must figure out how to move forward. With such small children, I ask for privacy and kindness.”
Read the full article here
Pro Tips On How To Join the Recording Academy From Six Membership Managers
Over the last several years, the Recording Academy has increased its efforts to make its membership more inclusive. In 2018, the Academy switched to a community-driven model that introduced a peer-review process requiring two professional recommendations. And in 2019, the organization’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion released a report that found the Academy could improve its outreach to underrepresented communities. That same year, the Academy announced its aim to double female voters by 2025 — it is 60% to that goal.
“All of us have seen a push in making sure communities are reflected,” says Ashley Thomas, director of member and outreach systems for the Academy. She and Kelley Purcell, the Academy’s vp of membership & industry relations, oversee six membership managers, who are tasked with supporting — and expanding — their assigned chapters and musical genres. “We’re actively seeking women, we’re actively seeking different genres and different disciplines,” Thomas says. “And so when the outreach managers are doing this work, it’s always at the forefront of what they’re doing.”
The Recording Academy’s current membership includes more than 12,000 voting members and an additional 3,000 non-voting, “professional” members. It has increased the number of invitees each year — from 1,300 in 2019, 2,300 in 2020 and 2,700 in both 2021 and 2022 — and looking ahead, Thomas says, there is an emphasis on global membership. “This year, we’ve invited over 200 music makers from the global music community. Our outreach team works on finding global music makers and professionals within all of their genres. This is a big priority.”
Below, Billboard asked each membership manager about their specific genres and chapters. Their answers are condensed for clarity and space.
Janette Becerra / Membership Manager
Latin, Visual Media, Music Video/Film
Chapters: Florida, Atlanta
Becerra started at the Academy as an intern in 2015. She previously worked at Sony/ATV Latin, Magnus Media and Hollywood.com
The Academy stated 56 percent of the invitees were from underrepresented communities. How did that play into your outreach efforts?
As a Latina, I am very passionate about reaching underrepresented communities, and ensuring that these folks feel that they have a place at the Academy is a priority for both me and the organization. Personally, it’s been useful for me to work alongside the Chapter teams to recruit and identify creatives and professionals that represent all corners of the music industry. Working collectively with our internal team and alongside our members helps drive continued progress toward diversifying our membership.
The Grammy Awards added a best score soundtrack for video games and other interactive media category this year. What opportunities does that open up for increasing membership in that sector since they now have their own category as opposed to being part of Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media?
The global shift towards recognizing video games as a mass cultural movement is here to stay. By paving this pathway to recognition specifically for the global Gaming/Interactive media industry, we’re able to connect with and recognize a vast community of creatives and professionals. It allows for more visibility for them in this space and I feel strongly that it will encourage membership growth.
Laura Crawford / Sr. Membership Manager
Country, American Roots, Gospel/CCM
Crawford worked as a publicist in both the contemporary Christian and country genres before joining the Recording Academy 11 years ago. The Nashville native moved into membership in 2014.
Brandi Carlile and Kacey Musgraves both expressed unhappiness over their entries being moved out of the Americana and Country categories in which they were submitted for the most recent Grammy Awards. Was that a concern among Americana and Country artists when you were recruiting new members from that community?
In having membership conversations with artists in these communities, we get a lot of questions about how the Awards process works. When new members have concerns, I make sure they are aware that the process is fluid and there’s an opportunity to lend their voice to changes each year. I think members find it encouraging that they can submit proposals if they feel that adjustments or changes need to be made to the Awards process.
The Academy said 56% of the invitees were from underrepresented communities. How did the efforts to diversify the membership play into your country outreach, which is predominantly a white genre? What are the challenges there?
Like many genres, the face of country music is evolving, and I anticipate in the coming years we’ll see a more inclusive space within this community. Our membership model is peer-driven, so I work closely with key genre stakeholders on our membership committees who constantly introduce us to emerging artists and future industry leaders.
Amanda Garcia Davenport / Membership Manager
Chapters: Texas, Memphis
Davenport previously handled public relations for a mental health and addiction recovery non-profit as well as did music marketing for Visit Austin before joining the Academy in 2020.
The Academy says 56% of the new invitees were from underrepresented communities. How did that play into your outreach efforts?
As a Latina from Texas, reaching underrepresented communities is always top of mind for me. I’ve found that often prospective members don’t realize they already meet our membership qualifications, so our initial conversations are simply providing information about our process. Nine times out of ten, once someone realizes they qualify, they automatically mention people within their own circles that also qualify. It’s truly a ripple effect and further proves how we all must work together to build a more inclusive membership.
The organization has a goal of adding 2,500 female voting members by 2025. How does that play into your EDM recruiting efforts in a heavily male-dominated genre?
I see this as a challenge a lot of genres are facing and constantly remind myself of the various disciplines that qualify for voting membership – producer, engineer, songwriter, etc. — this way I don’t get stuck only thinking of one profession. We’re also leaning on our membership’s peer-to-peer model (each member can recommend two new members per year) and tapping into existing [ally]organizations with a similar focus like Key of She, Sound Girls, and Girls Make Beats.
Maurice Kalous / Sr. Membership Manager
Rock, Alternative, Spoken Word, Children’s Music
Chapters: Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C.
A 13-year veteran of the Academy, Kalous had already been supported the Chicago chapter and last year, his role shifted to focus on outreach within the rock, alternative, spoken word, and children’s music communities while supporting membership efforts for the Chicago, Philadelphia, and D.C. chapters
The Academy added Best Spoken Word Poetry Album category this year. How has that helped in recruiting artists in that genre?
The addition of the Best Spoken Word Poetry Album category is a monumental achievement for the Spoken Word Poetry community. Some of the strongest voices in Spoken Word Poetry advocated for the category addition, including Grammy-nominated artist J. Ivy. Throughout the process of proposing this category, J. and his peers put in the work to ensure recognition for the community by connecting with artists in the genre, leading to an overwhelmingly positive response from their fellow creators.
Of the genres that you cover, which one presents the biggest challenge in recruiting new members?
Right now, I’d love to see more artists in metal engage with the Academy, lead some of our member-facing programs, and take on leadership roles within their respective chapters. We have fantastic voices in our new membership class that I can see leading those discussions…Broadly speaking, I believe our biggest challenge is ensuring all artists working in music understand what the Recording Academy has to offer outside of the Grammy Awards recognition. We are an organization working to better the lives of everyone working in music, and everything we do is powered by our members.
Brittany Presley / Membership Manager
R&B, Rap, Reggae, Global Music
Chapter: Los Angeles
Presley held several positions at nationally syndicated radio stations and production companies before starting with the Academy in 2013 and moving to membership manager four years ago.
What are the challenges in recruiting members from the rap community when some have a still lingering belief in that community that rap isn’t fairly represented in the big four categories?
We’re working hard to continue building relationships and trust with the artists that call this genre home, and we’ve made great strides thanks to the intentional efforts made on behalf of Harvey, Valeisha and so many other leaders here at the Academy. I often find that connecting with these artists directly and uncovering what we do outside of the awards show related to creators’ rights, the Black Music Collective (BMC), and MusiCares helps paint a full picture of what Academy membership can offer them. There is still much progress to be made, and we’re committed to putting in the work that needs to be done to break barriers and build more trust with the rap community.
What areas do you see the greatest potential for growth in the genres that you cover and in the chapter that you oversee? What are the biggest challenges?
I see great potential for growth within the Global music genre. For example, there are so many incredible artists coming out of Africa, and we’re only seeing a subset of that here in the states. I strongly feel that Global music will soon become the music of our time.
Lewis Robertson / Membership Manager
Jazz, Comedy, New Age, Ambien or Chant, Contemporary Instrumental
Chapters: San Francisco, Pacific Northwest
A music professional who worked as a studio musician, tour and studio manager and professor, Robertson started at the Recording Academy three years ago.
The Academy says 56% percent of the new invitees were from underrepresented communities. How did that play into your outreach efforts?
I would estimate that over 80% of my outreach efforts this year were dedicated to identifying and supporting music people in underrepresented communities. Our hope is to not just defend against existing industry biases, but to ultimately help affect positive change that will reverberate throughout the world of music.
What areas do you see the greatest potential for growth in the genres and regions that you cover?
The UK Jazz scene is exploding with innovation, Colorado and Seattle have become quite large music hubs, the comedy genre at large is an untapped gold-mine of creativity, ideas, and artists pushing boundaries. Music from the Bay Area is filled with important calls to action, Contemporary Instrumental music is continuing to breed some of the greatest musicians of our time, and New Age, Ambient and Chant music is becoming more and more important as our lives get busier and more stressful.
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