The Grammys were short on female nominees and winners this year, but, hey, it was their fault. Only, Pink, the power pop singer, isn’t buying into Grammy head Neil Portnow’s pert explanation for the trend.
Portnow, the guy with the grey hair and beard who always comes out at the end of the show, said women need to “step up” if the want to be part of the industry.
He was responding to a question from a Variety reporter about the trending hashtag #GrammySoMale on Twitter following the show.
Actually, Portnow was trying to be positive. Here’s the entire quote:
“[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.”
What was he trying to say?
The music industry doesn’t face brick walls? It’s ALL about brick walls. Trying to break into music is almost as difficult as running a 2-hour marathon.
Those walls have always been higher for women.
Pink, aka Alecia Beth Moore, has sold more than 40 million albums and 50 million singles worldwide. She made her response personal in a handwritten note posted on Twitter.
“Women in music don’t need to ‘step up’ — women have been stepping 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, and how much women STEP UP every year, against all odds, we show the next generation of women and girls and boys and men what it means to be equal, and what it looks like to be fair.”
One of the world’s best-selling music artists certainly has no desire to mince words. And with good reason.
At this year’s Grammys, Alessia Cara was the only woman to win a major award. It was for Best New Artist.
Lorde, the New Zealand singer who was a fan favorite to win Album of the Year, was one of the biggest snubs of the night.
For the record, Lisa Loeb, Reba McEntire, Aimee Mann and Carrie Fisher did win Grammys this year, but their presentations didn’t make the telecast.
Rihanna and Kendrick Lamar also won for best rap/sung performance for their song “Loyalty.”
Nonetheless, Pink has a point. The music industry needs to do a lot more self-reflection before next year’s Grammys.