18th January, 2020
Eight days ahead of the 62nd Grammy Awards, the Recording Academy is in the throes of a ‘Dugan storm’ as the ousted CEO threatened to expose shenanigans in the organisation.
CEO Deborah Dugan has been placed on “administrative leave” after six months on the job following a misconduct allegation, the Academy confirmed to USA TODAY in a statement provided by Lourdes Lopez.
On Friday, Dugan said there’s more to the story in a statement to the Associated Press through her attorney Bryan Freedman.
“What has been reported is not nearly the story that needs to be told. When our ability to speak is not restrained by a 28-page contract and legal threats, we will expose what happens when you ‘step up’ at the Recording Academy, a public nonprofit,” the statement read.
In August, Dugan became the first woman to lead the Recording Academy, replacing longtime head Neil Portnow, who in 2018 suggested female artists should “step up” if they wanted to be recognized in the music industry. Dugan previously served as the CEO of Bono’s (RED) organization.
Board Chair Harvey Mason Jr., a music producer who has worked with Chris Brown, Jennifer Hudson and more, will serve as interim president while the allegations are investigated by two independent third-parties.
“The Board determined this action to be necessary in order to restore the confidence of the Recording Academy’s Membership, repair Recording Academy employee morale, and allow the Recording Academy to focus on its mission of serving all music creators,” the statement said.
The Recording Academy added that the “Board of Trustees is committed to fostering a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace, music industry, and society.”
The 2020 Grammy Awards will be broadcast live on CBS from Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Jan. 26. The ceremony will again be hosted by Alicia Keys.
This year’s Grammys are set to feature performances by Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Demi Lovato, Aerosmith, Bonnie Raitt, Tyler, the Creator, Run-DMC, Rosalía, H.E.R. and Lizzo, who is the top nominee with eight.
Nigeria’s Burna Boy is also in the race for an award.
*Originally Reported by USA Today