Music

5 Recording Academy Trustees Are 2024 Grammy Nominees

Five people are headed to the 2024 Grammy Awards on Sunday (Feb. 4) as both current nominees and trustees of the Recording Academy. One of them, Michael Romanowski, has a stunning four of the five nominations for best immersive audio album.

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Romanowski served as the immersive mastering engineer on Ryan Ulyate’s Act 3 (Immersive Edition), George Strait’s Blue Clear Sky, Alicia Keys’ The Diary of Alicia Keys and Bear McCreary’s God of War Ragnarök (Original Soundtrack). Romanowski has won four Grammys since 2021, including two in this category.

The other four people who will attending the Grammys both as trustees and current nominees are Chuck Ainlay, J. Ivy, PJ Morton and Marcus Baylor.

Ainlay is nominated alongside Romanowski for best immersive audio album for this edition of Strait’s 1996 album Blue Clear Sky. Ainlay served as immersive mix engineer and immersive producer to Romanowski’s immersive mastering engineer. Ainlay has won four Grammys since 2006, including one when this category was known as best surround sound album.

Ivy is nominated for best spoken word poetry album for The Light Inside. Ivy won in that category last year – the first year it was presented – for The Poet Who Sat by the Door. Ivy won a second Grammy last year for best roots gospel album for The Urban Hymnal.

Morton is nominated for best traditional R&B performance for “Good Morning” (featuring Susan Carol). Morton has won four Grammys since 2019, including one in this category.

Baylor is nominated for best jazz performance for his featured role on Adam Blackstone’s “Vulnerable (Live).” The track features The Baylor Project & Russell Ferranté. Baylor has received 10 nominations since 2003, but has yet to win.

The Academy wants to have people on its board of trustees who are current, active and successful in their careers. But their nominations, while they are serving as trustees, raise a question of whether being a current trustee gives them an unfair advantage in the voting.

Billboard has reached out to the Academy for comment.

The current 41-member board of trustees (counting four officers) includes six other people who are past Grammy winners, but are not nominated this year. They are EGOT recipient John Legend, who has amassed 12 Grammys since 2006; Angélique Kidjo (five Grammys since 2008), Yolanda Adams (four Grammys since 2000), Natalia Ramirez (three Grammys since 2020), Jonathan Yip (two Grammys in 2018) and Ledisi (one Grammy in 2021).

Other current trustees who have been nominated in years past (but did not win) are Terry Jones, Mike Knobloch, Paul Wall and Thom “TK” Kidd.

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