The GRAMMY® Awards are a product of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, or the Recording Academy. Founded in 1957, the Recording Academy is a professional music organization. All of its members are creative or technical music professionals, such as singers, composers, producers, art directors and engineers.
The Recording Academy has two membership levels -- associate and voting. All voting members are producers, performers or engineers on six or more tracks of a commercially released album.
In addition to organizing the GRAMMYs, the Recording Academy works with musicians and lawmakers on legal issues like digital music downloading. The Recording Academy has also organized the GRAMMY Foundation for music awareness as well as the MusiCares Foundation, which provides emergency assistance and addiction recovery programs for people in the music industry.
The Recording Academy is most famous for its annual awards. We'll look at the GRAMMYs next.