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

Neil Portnow president and CEO of the Recording Academy speaks onstage at the 60th annual Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden in New York60th Annual Grammy Awards- Show New York USA- 28 Jan 2018

Out of all the major categories at the 2018 Grammys, Alessia Cara - who took home Best New Artist - was the only female award victor.

The rest of his statement reads: Our industry must recognize that women who dream of careers in music face barriers that men have never faced. It's clear the issue goes deeper than women not stepping up to the plate as in the past six years, only 9 percent of the 899 Grammy nominees have been women. "They've been KILLING IT", wrote Pink, whose Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken music video is garnering positive reviews.

When asked if it was a misstep not to invite Lorde, the only female nominated for Album of the Year, to perform, as male nominees had during the show, Ehrlich stated, "I don't know if it was a mistake".

When asked about the controversy, Portnow suggested, in an unfortunate turn of phrase, that female artists should "step up" the quality of their work in years to come, since they certainly, theoretically, "would be welcome" among the Academy's ranks.

He said, "I regret that I wasn't as articulate as I should have been in conveying this thought". (Rihanna accepted an award she shared with Kenrick Lamar.) After Portnow's "step up" comments backstage, several prominent women in the industry, including Pink and Halsey, stepped up with statements of their own.

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There were some boos from the audience when Ed Sheeran - who was not present - won best pop solo performance for "Shape of You", topping Kelly Clarkson, Kesha, Lady Gaga and Pink.

Following the creation of the hashtag #GrammysSoMale, the Grammy chief mansplained that if women want to win more golden gramophones in the future, they need to "step up" their efforts, presumably to the same level as men.

The producer of the award show, Ken Ehrlich, took a slightly different take. These shows are a matter of choices. I didn't think we'd ever get to a point where the out-of-touch Recording Academy honored an album like DAMN, so that was welcome. "She had a great album, but there's no way we can really deal with everybody".

At this year's Grammy Awards, there was constant discussion about gender equality, the #MeToo movement and women's rights.

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