The Recording Academy, the folks behind the Grammys, have invited 900 women and people of color, all under 40 years old, to be voting members. This comes from recommendations by the Grammy Task Force created to investigate gender bias in the Academy following harsh criticism after this year's awards (and after Academy president Neil Portnow said women need to "step up"). This will make this year's Nominations Review Committees 51% female and 48% people of color. More from Billboard:

The work of the Task Force is just beginning, Task Force chair Tina Tchen told Billboard. The Member Invitation Initiative is “a first step. We hope to work with the Academy in the coming months to do it again next year in a more organized way, but we wanted to do [it] right away to affect this year’s awards season,” says Tchen, who served as chief of staff to former First Lady Michelle Obama. “This is an outreach effort to say ‘You are qualified [to vote], we hope you will join.’ We are hoping this will be part of getting the artists to be part of the change that we want to have, which is to diversify the leadership of the industry through the Recording Academy by having all diverse artists participating in the process.” Invitees who join by Nov. 15 are eligible to vote for Feb. 10’s 61st Annual Grammy Awards.

The 2019 Grammy Awards will be held Sunday, February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles.

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