Recording Academy President Says Female Artists "Need to Step Up"

Sparking controversy at the 60th Grammy Awards.

Music
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When asked by Variety about the lack of female representation at this year’s Grammy Awards and #GrammysSoMale trending last night, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow said that women artists “need to step up” and the industry will happily celebrate their accomplishments.

“It has to begin with… women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level,” Portnow said. “[They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome. I don’t have personal experience of those kinds of brick walls that you face but I think it’s upon us — us as an industry — to make the welcome mat very obvious, breeding opportunities for all people who want to be creative and paying it forward and creating that next generation of artists.”

Many of the categories were dominated by male nominees. “Best New Artist” winner Alessia Cara was the only woman artist to receive an award during the live broadcast. SZA, the most-nominated woman of the night, also walked away empty handed and Lorde — who was a nominee for “Album of the Year” — did not get extended an opportunity to perform. Overall just 11 of the 84 total awards went to women.

Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich was also asked whether it was a mistake to not give Lorde an onstage moment, Ehrlich answered: “I don’t know if it was a mistake. These shows are a matter of choices. We have a box and it gets full. She had a great album. There’s no way we can really deal with everybody.”

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