The Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective (BMC) has issued a response to those critical of the 2021 Grammy Awards nominations. While some were excited by the list of nominees, shared on Tuesday (Nov. 24), others were disappointed by the lack of inclusion and absence of a few fan favorites.

On Thursday (Nov. 25), the BMC Honorary Chairs published a letter in which they addressed fans’ concerns.

“During such a difficult year and time in our society, the Grammy Awards nominations announced yesterday were a bold reminder to the world and our industry, yet again, of the groundbreaking global impact, influence, and contributions of Black music,” the letter began.

“As with every awards cycle, there were a lot of big moments, surprises, but also some disappointments,” it continued. “We’re listening. Our work is not done and it will take some time, but the mission to be more inclusive continues.”

The BMC also pointed out the historic firsts among the 2021 nominees.

“It’s a historic year as 10 Black women are nominated in the top four categories and more than 20 Black nominees are represented in the General Fields,” they wrote, referring to Jhené Aiko, Beyoncé, Megan Thee Stallion and more.

“Also, for the first time, all 6 nominees for Best Rap Album are Black independent artists. This is progress.”

The letter was signed by Honorary Chairs Jimmy Jam, Quincy Jones, Debra Lee, John Legend and Sylvia Rhone.

“Black Music is not a monolith,” they added. “It represents 33% of the overall music market share in the U.S. We show up in many ways — in many forms — and in many places as reflected in the Grammy Awards nominations this year. From Pop and Heavy Metal to Country, Black Music was reflected and recognized.”

Read the full letter, courtesy of The Shade Room, below. The Grammys will air on Jan. 31 via CBS.