by VVN Music
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has published a list of 683 people that they have asked to join their ranks.
The large list appears to reflect an effort by the academy to correct last years situation where no African American actors were nominated in any of the categories even though moviegoers and critics identified a number that were worthy of the honor.
Of the 683, 41% are people of color which would move the percentage of overall members from 8% to 11%. If all were to accept, it would also move the percentage of women from 25% to 27%. 283 of the invitees are from foreign markets
Included on the list are a number of popular musicians:
- O'Shea Ice Cube Jackson - The rapper and founding member of N.W.A. was asked to join both as an actor and a writer. As an actor, he has appeared in Boyz n the Hood, Friday, Three Kings and Barbershop while he wrote Friday, The Players Club and All About the Benjamins.
- Mary J. Blige - Has contributed music to a number of films and has acted in I Can Do Bad All By Self, Rock of Ages and Black Nativity.
- RZA (Robert Fitzgerald Diggs) - Co-founder of the group Wu-Tang Clan, he has appeared on the soundtrack of over fifty films and television programs and composed for such films as Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samauri, Kill Bill: Volume 1, Blade: Trinity and The Man With the Iron Fists.
- Raphael Saadiq - A former member of Tony Toni Tone!, he has recorded music for numerous films and composed for the film Black Nativity.
- Melvin Van Peebles - Although he recorded a number of albums in the 70's, Melvin has been acting since 1970 and has written, directed, produced and composed for films throughout the last five decades.
- Sia (Sia Furler) - A current international hitmaker, the singer has had her music used in films back to the early 2000's and had a small acting part in the latest version of Annie.
- will.i.am - Co-founder of the Black Eyed Peas, he has acted in films such as Be Cool, Date Night and as a voice actor in Madagascar and Rio. His songs, especially the composition Pump It, have appeared in numerous films.