Lorde has highlighted the Grammys’ lack of recognition of women artists in a full-page ad in the newspaper.
The star attended Sunday’s ceremony, where only 17 of the 86 winners were women, or the women in front of the acts.
Grammy president Neil Portnow provoked more criticism by saying that women need to “step up” if they wanted recognition.
In her letter, Lorde thanked fans “for believing in female musicians”, adding: “It sets a beautiful precedent.”
Although not directly criticize the awards, the statement could be read as a response to the controversy.
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The 21-year-old added that he had not seen “a lot of crazy wonderful things” in the ceremony, saying that “almost cried” after meeting Stevie Nicks and pointed out that “Jay-Z’s hands are very soft”.
The pop star had already been dragged into the debate on women’s representation at the Grammys when it was learned that she was the only album of the year nominee who was not invited to give a solo performance.
According to variety magazine, the pop star was asked to perform with other artists – possibly as part of a tribute to the late Tom Petty -but he declined the offer.
After the ceremony, he appeared to the address of that rumor with a tweet saying: “If you are debating whether or not I can the murder of a stage… come see for yourself.”
The Grammys has been criticized for the lack of recognition of women artists, after several groundbreaking, critically adored albums were excluded.
Confessional-the R&B star SZA, who went to the ceremony with five nominations, left empty handed; while Kesha, whose album of Rainbow, is a powerful document to survive emotional and physical abuse, was beaten by Ed Sheeran in the pop categories – despite what many declared to be the night of a performance key.
Asked about the gender imbalance, Portnow, said: “[Women] who want to be musicians, engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry at the executive level [need] to step”.
The condemnation came fast.
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“Women in music do not need to step. Women have been increasing since the beginning of time,” said Pink, who performed at Sunday’s ceremony.
“Step-by-step, and also taking a step to the side.
“When we celebrate and honor the talent and achievements of women, and as much to the women of passage of each year, against all the odds, it shows the next generation of women and girls and men and boys of what it means to be equal.”
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The nine-time Grammy winner Sheryl Crow added: “Who is going to young girls, be inspired by…. when the majority of each of the categories is full of men? I’m not sure that it is about women who need to ‘step up’.”
Lou Taylor, Britney Spears’ business manager, put it more bluntly, saying Portnow “needs to get [his] head out of your ass”.”Women face barriers’
Portnow later apologized for his comments, saying the phrase “step up” had been taken out of context, and do not “convey my beliefs”.
“Our industry must recognize that the woman who dream of a career in music face barriers that men have never faced,” he continued. “I regret that I was not as articulate as it should have been in the transmission of this thought.”
“I remain committed to doing everything possible to make our music community better, safer, and more representative place for all”.
However, even in his apology attracted criticism.
“Neil Portnow and the Academy are the ones who need to step up,” added Marcie Allen, 24-year veteran of the industry. “The women stepped up creatively in a big way in the last year, they have only to look at Lorde, Kesha, SZA, St. Vincent, Taylor Swift, Pink, Cardi B.
“It’s nice to see a lot of these achievements are recognized in the nominations, but it feels like there is something more that the celebration of women structurally have success in the music business,” he added, noting there were only two women CEOs at major record labels.
“The bottom line is, you have to give the example,” he concluded. “Literally no one asked for two long segments [at the Grammys] with Sting and Shaggy could have been given to Lorde or Kelly Clarkson, or several other female artists that received nominations.
“They have to demonstrate to the industry that these women artists and the producers and executives are a step forward -but we need to be given an equal opportunity.”
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