CMM's Kelly Milionis interviews Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow during the Recording Academy's Red Carpet Rollout at Madison Square Garden for the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards (photo credit Elizabeth Lauer).

Kelly Milionis:  on welcome and return to NYC...
Neil Portnow:  Well, it's very exciting to bring the GRAMMY Awards back to New York.  Personally, I am a New Yorker; half of the Recording Academy's membership is based on the East Coast; a good portion of the industry is on the East Coast; and, of course, it's one of the great music capitals of the World.  So, we're thrilled to be here.

Kelly:  on Recording Academy leadership...
Neil:  I was at EMI and to be quite honest, I never really thought I would have this job.  I've been a member of the Academy since the mid-70s.  I've been part of the elected leadership as a Los Angeles Chapter Governor, as a Los Angeles Chapter Trustee, also as a National Officer, but I was fulltime and VERY fulltime in the music industry.  So, this wasn't something that I had in mind but it just shows you if you have an open mind and follow the yellow-brick-road in your heart, a lot of things can happen.

Kelly:  on Music and Musicians' Rights Advocacy...
Neil:  Well, we think we have a lot of momentum now going forward.  There are two Bills; one in the House and one in the Senate having to do with some of our issues.  There's actually and we'll have it right here in New York during GRAMMY Week, it's very deliberate, there's a Congressional Hearing on Copyright issues.  I will be testifying.  We think we are moving in a good direction and we think we got some momentum behind it now.

Kelly: Thank you and much continued success!
Neil:  Thank you!

Neil Portnow photo credit Kelly Milionis
Kelly Milionis with Neil Portnow photo credit Elizabeth Lauer