The award went to 21-year-old pop singer Alessia Cara, who took home best new artist. Cara stood in solidarity with several other artists by wearing a white rose to show their support of sexual misconduct victims.
The spirit of female empowerment was visible among the artists in attendance, but it wasn’t reflected in this year’s awards.
Every artist in the album-of-the-year category was invited to perform solo at this year’s Grammy’s––well, the males anyway.
Two-time Grammy winning artist Lorde whose album, Melodrama, was up for the award was the only artist not invited to perform solo, to which Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich provided a vague response: “I don’t know if it was a mistake,” Ehrlich said. “These shows are a matter of choices.”
During the show, Kesha––along with a chorus of famous female vocalists––performed her hit “Praying,” the first single she released after a long legal battle with producer Dr. Luke, who she accused of sexual assault. Critics praised the emotional performance, calling it a “highlight of the night” and a strong statement for the #MeToo movement. Yet, the song lost to Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” for Best Pop Solo Performance.
Although I like Ed Sheeran, it’s not a stretch to say his song about a woman’s body winning over Kesha’s song about overcoming sexual abuse is a little twisted, and Twitter users weren’t afraid to share their thoughts.
The University of California reported, as of Jan. 25, out of the 899 people nominated for Grammy Awards between 2013 and 2018, only 9 percent were women.
After the show, #GrammySoMale began trending on various social media platforms, to which Recording Academy President Neil Portnow responded women need to “step up” in the music industry.
I’m sorry. What?
I can immediately think of several female artists off the top of my head. Think of some of the most popular vocalists today––Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Kesha, Lorde, Sia, Kelly Clarkson, Demi Lovato, Halsey, Alessia Cara, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus––and that’s just the pop music category.
If anything, I certainly don’t think it’s the lack of women in the music industry.
The awards are voted on, and I understand it’s not necessarily a blatant display of intentional discrimination against women by voters, but it does say a lot about our culture.
Chris Stapleton won best country album, and on the misrepresentation of women artist in this year’s Grammy’s, he responded, “Equality is something we have to address on a lot of levels,” said Stapleton. “I can’t really speak to how voters voted and what happened there, but there is a lot of great music being made by a lot of great women.”
It’s not an issue of women not stepping up to the plate. Women are there, making music and performing, but it seems our society continues to turn a blind eye.
This isn’t a push for feminism. This is a push for equality.