Pink, Katy Perry, and More Women Fire Back at the Grammy Chief Who Told Female Artists to “Step Up”

Pink, Katy Perry, and More Women Fire Back at the Grammy Chief Who Told Female Artists to "Step Up"
Pink, Katy Perry, and More Women Fire Back at the Grammy Chief Who Told Female Artists to "Step Up"

JUST ONE girl received a solo award on the Grammys rite on Sunday night: Alessia Cara, for Absolute Best New Artist. (Rihanna also received a trophy, but for her collaboration with Kendrick Lamar.)

Even As other feminine winners, like Reba McEntire, Carrie Fisher and Shakira, have been introduced earlier than the awards display, the televised broadcast was once male-ruled. Even Highest Pop Solo Efficiency—which was once wealthy with powerhouse female nominees, including Woman Gaga, Kesha, Pink and Kelly Clarkson—went to Ed Sheeran.

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When folks puzzled the low number of female winners (and began tweeting #GrammysSoMale), Recording Academy president Neil Portnow supplied a tone-deaf resolution.

“It has to start out with… girls who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who wish to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers and want to be part of the industry on the govt degree… They need to step up because i believe they would be welcome,” he instructed Variety after the rite. (Read his complete remark here.)

Unsurprisingly, Portnow’s quote—which implied that ladies have been guilty for no longer earning awards—drew backlash from tune fans and artists alike. Purple, who was once nominated for one award but misplaced to Ed Sheeran, spoke back with a formidable, defiant word on Twitter.

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It reads in full:

“Women in music don’t need to ‘step up.’ Women have been stepping up since the beginning of time. Stepping up and also stepping aside. Women OWNED music this year. They’ve been KILLING IT. And every year before this. When we celebrate and honor the talent and accomplishments of women, and how much women STEP UP every year, against all odds, we show the next generation of of sic women and girls and boys and men what it means to be equal, and what it looks like to be fair.”

Katy Perry, whose album Witness didn’t receive any nominations, retweeted Pink’s note in agreement. “We ALL have a responsibility to call out the absurd lack of equality everywhere we see it,” she said.

Charli XCX kept her message blunt: “Women are making AMAZING music right now wtf is this dude talking about ?????”

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Halsey posted a string of tweets calling Portnow’s comment “absurd,” explaining how the onus is on the community of musicians, producers and songwriters who vote for Grammy winners. She also noted that Alessia Cara, the only woman to win a solo award during the televised ceremony, is not to blame.

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Even Britney Spears’ business manager Lou Taylor also posted a scathing statement on Instagram. “I know a good woman who can ‘step up’ and help get you out of debt and help you pull your head out of your ass,” she wrote in an open message to Portnow.

I step up and step in everyday! There are countless women who help provide the foundation that this business is built on – Here let me help you Neil and Ken – maybe next year we will have a new Academy president and a new producer. I hear the Academy needs a new accountant since you are in debt – I know a good woman who can “step up” and help get you out of debt and help you pull your head out of your ass. #stupid

A post shared by Lou Taylor (@loumtaylor) on Jan 29, 2018 at 7:39pm PST

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The listing of responses goes on.

After the outrage unfold, Portnow issued some other commentary the previous day where he “regrettably” walked again on his “step up” remark and said his words were “taken out of context.” (Read his new complete observation here.)

He delivered, “Our industry must acknowledge that ladies who dream of careers in song face limitations that men have never faced. We should actively work to eliminate those boundaries and encourage women to reside their desires and specific their pastime and creativity thru track.”

however the harm used to be already performed. Most Effective eight p.c of the 2018 Grammy nominees have been girls, in step with a examine through the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. Lorde was the one feminine artist nominated for Album of the 12 Months, and she or he used to be reportedly the one person in the category who wasn’t invited to accomplish solo. She did carry out final year, alternatively. (It Is “laborious to have a balanced show,” Portnow explained.) SZA, probably the most-nominated lady this 12 months with five nods (compare that to JAY-Z’s eight), went house empty-passed.

Kesha performs on the 2018 Grammys with Bebe Rexha, Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Andra Day, and Julia Michaels. Getty Images

This year’s nominees have been touted as probably the most racially numerous team ever (no white men have been nominated for Album of the 12 Months), that’s likely a response to the #GrammysSoWhite backlash following Beyoncé’s loss to Adele for 2017’s Album of the Year, and that is the reason price celebrating. But women’s representation was nonetheless missing—and it has been for years. Of the 899 people nominated within the best classes between 2013 and 2018, best 9.3 p.c were feminine (making that 90.7 % male), the Annenberg observe found.

Though the Grammys might’ve been bleak for ladies, there have been still signs of desire. Visitors wore white roses in team spirit with Time’s Up, much like the Golden Globes’ red carpet blackout. Kesha, in collaboration with different sturdy feminine vocalists, gave a tear-jerking performance of “Praying,” her first comeback unmarried given that her grueling legal struggle with Dr. Luke. And Janelle Monáe relayed an impressive message on behalf of girls in her speech: “We are available peace, however we imply industry. to these who would dare try to silence us, we offer you phrases: Time’s Up. “

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