New Zealand pop prodigy Lorde has thanked her fans for supporting female musicians, as artists hit back amid controversy that the Grammy Awards neglected women—a spat fueled by comments from the Recording Academy’s president seen as disparaging, reports AFP.
The 21-year-old’s “Melodrama” was the only work by a woman nominated for the most prestigious prize of Album of the Year on the music industry’s biggest night Sunday.
She not only was bested by Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” but she was not given a spot to perform at the televised show in New York. The Recording Academy, which administers the awards, said the roster was full.
Lorde took out a full-page advertisement in The New Zealand Herald with doodlings about the Grammys and a handwritten note that thanked readers “for loving and embracing ‘Melodrama’ the way you did.” “Thank you, also, for believing in female musicians.You set a beautiful precedent!” she wrote.
The Grammy winners slanted overwhelmingly male at a time of mounting activism by women against sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
The Grammy show’s most memorable performer may have been Kesha, who fiercely sang her track “Praying” about a producer she says raped and psychologically tormented her—allegations he denies. Recording Academy president Neil Portnow told reporters that the music industry needed to show a “welcome mat” to women, but drew controversy as he explained how female artists could win more awards. “I think it has to begin with women who have the creativity in their hearts and their souls who want to be musicians... to step up, because I think they would be welcome,” he said. Pop singer P!nk struck back without naming Portnow: “Women in music don’t need to ‘step up’—women have been stepping since the beginning of time.”