back to top

The President Of The Grammys Told Women To "Step Up" And Pink Was Not Here For It

"Women in music don't need to "step up" – women have been stepping up since the beginning of time."

Posted on

The 60th annual Grammy Awards was held on Sunday night, but the conversation since has been less about the music and more about the fact that women were severely underrepresented in all areas of the ceremony.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

For example, Lorde was the only female nominee for the most prestigious award of the night – Album Of The Year. And, while the male nominees all received a solo performing slot during the ceremony, Lorde was the only one who did not.

Getty Images

During the live telecast of the show, only one award was given to a woman – Alessia Cara.

Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

And then Janelle Monae highlighted this pretty staggering fact.

A total of 90.7% of nominees between 2013 and 2018 were male, meaning just 9.3% were women. #TimesUp #Grammys

It didn't take long for the #GrammysSoMale hashtag to begin trending as people discussed all of this.

In the last 18 years, only seven women have won Record of the Year and Album of the Year (39% each). #TimesUp #GrammysSoMale

And the discussion became so intense that the Recording Academy President, Neil Portnow, eventually gave a statement in which he said that women needed to "step up" if they wanted to be recognised in the music industry.

Michael Kovac / Getty Images

Speaking to Variety, Neil Portnow said:

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 an executive level, they need to step up because I think they'd be welcome. I don't have personal experience of those kinds of brick walls that you have to 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.

People were, frankly, kind of annoyed by his implication that the lack of female nominees and winners was down to women not "stepping up" or being good enough.

There are countless barriers faced by women in obtaining positions of power across industry segments. The music ind… https://t.co/TsK5riG485

EXCUSE ME 😠 Why do women have to ‘step up’ in order to win awards? Female artists like @TaylorSwift13 and @Pink o… https://t.co/JLInMMiTPO

One of these people was Pink, who was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance on Sunday but lost out to Ed Sheeran.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Pink took to Twitter to share an impassioned letter in which she said women have been "stepping up and stepping aside since the beginning of time."

Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

Pink wrote:

Women in music don't need to "step up" – women have been stepping up 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.

She went on to suggest that rather than telling women to "step up," we start "celebrating and honouring" their talents instead.

Isaac Brekken / Getty Images

She wrote:

When we celebrate and honour the talent and accomplishments of women, 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.

The full post can be read here.

People absolutely loved her message.

@Pink @mel11ism Pink out here preaching too.

@Pink Yes! Yes! Yes! From the first letter to the last period just YES! 👏🏼👏🏼 ....and handwritten straight from yo… https://t.co/Jq4jO4wBtg

And thanked her for sharing such a powerful statement.

@Pink Thankyou! my 14yr old is “killing it” writing her own music & practicing hard & so grateful to you @Gaga… https://t.co/UygN8bDihh

@Pink Yaaaasss! I am raising my son to respect women. No means no, that he is equal to his peers and that no one wh… https://t.co/jjvW5fbb4E

@Pink Yes yes yes yes yes and also yes. Thank you. ❤️

Go Pink. 🙏 💕

RCA Records