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Grammys president said women need to “step up” after male-heavy awards

Neil Portnow

The 2018 Grammy winners were noticeably male-heavy, with all of the televised awards going to men except Best New Artist (which Alessia Cara won). Only 11 of the total 84 awards went to women, and it’s worth noting that SZA — the most nominated woman and one of the most critically acclaimed artists of last year — was completely shut out from all five awards she was nominated for.

Grammys president Neil Portnow was asked by Variety about the gender imbalance, and his reply was:

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… [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.

They also asked Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich if it was a mistake that Lorde was the only Album of the Year nominee without a performance, and he replied, “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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