Grammys So Male? 'Women Need to Step Up,' Says Recording Academy President

30 January 2018, 01:06 | Santos Harmon

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Women need to "step up" if they want to win more Grammys, Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow said when asked about the fact that there was only one female victor - best new artist Alessia Cara - shown winning an award Sunday night at Madison Square Garden. Throughout all of the major categories, Alessia Cara was the sole female awardee, taking home a statue in the Best New Artist category. Variety reported that Lorde was the only artist in the male-dominated album-of-the-year category to not be invited to perform solo, which the Grammys chief neither confirmed nor denied.

While he admitted that he doesn't "have personal experience of those kinds of brick walls that [women] face", and that it's upon the whole industry "to make the welcome mat very obvious", his comments were shockingly tone deaf for a guy who works in music.

The singer, who was nominated for album of the year on Sunday, borrowed the message from artist Jenny Holzer's "Inflammatory Essays". "We had a conversation that we thought was going to lead to a performance and really only two weeks ago he basically said he'd rather not", the producer told the LA Times.

Kesha, who earned her first pair of Grammy nominations this year, has been in a legal war with former producer and mentor Dr. Luke.

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One Twitter user suggested that, next year, women "get nominated for all the 2019 Grammys" and then protest the previous exclusion by sitting out the show entirely.

Last night, the music industry's brightest stars descended on Madison Square Garden for the 60 annual Grammy Awards. "These shows are always a matter of choices, and we know we have a box and the box gets full". One person who made a statement on the night was New Zealand singer Lorde, who stitched a poem by feminist artist Jenny Holzer onto the back of her dress.

Best Country Album victor Chris Stapleton, meanwhile, appeared a bit frazzled by the question of women's representation among this year's GRAMMY winners. We say time's up for pay inequality. "We can't have every nominee perform", Portnow argued.

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