Photos by Kevin Mazur for Global Citizen / Tyler Golden/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank / Kevin Mazur for NARAS via Getty Images
The ladies are coming in strong at the 2019 GRAMMYs!
The Recording Academy announced the full list of honorees for the 61st annual awards show on Friday, and we were ecstatic to see a number of females dominating the major categories this year.
For Best Pop Vocal Album, five of the six nominations went to women — Camila Cabello (Camila), Kelly Clarkson (Meaning of Life), Ariana Grande (Sweetener), P!nk (Beautiful Trauma) and Taylor Swift (Reputation) — with only one, Shawn Mendes’ self-titled album, going to a male performer.
The same can be said about the Best New Artist category. Six of the eight nods went to the ladies — Chloe x Halle, H.E.R., Dua Lipa, Margo Price, Bebe Rexha and Jorja Smith — with only two going to the men — country star Luke Combs and American rock band Greta van Fleet.
The Album of the Year category is also heavily stacked by women. Cardi B (Invasion of Privacy), Brandi Carlile (By the Way, I Forgive You), H.E.R. (H.E.R.), Janelle Monáe (Dirty Computer) and Kacey Musgraves (Golden Hour) are up for the award, competing against Post Malone (Beerbongs & Bentleys) and Kendrick Lamar (Black Panther: The Album).
As for Record of the Year, there’s great representation of both male and female artists, thanks to collaborations from Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper on “Shallow” from A Star Is Born, Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin on “I Like It,” Kendrick Lamar and SZA on “All the Stars” and Zedd, Grey and Maren Morris on “The Middle.” “The Joke” by Brandi Carlile, “This Is America” by Childish Gambino, “God’s Plan” by Drake and “Rockstar” by Post Malone featuring 21 Savage round out the Record of the Year category.
Additionally, Linda Perry is the first solo woman nominated for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical since 1999, up against Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Larry Klein and Boi-1da. Most recently, the Matrix (a group featuring Lauren Christy) was nominated in 2004, and the only other women nominated in this category in past years have been Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Sheryl Crow, Paula Cole and Lauryn Hill. No woman has ever won the award.
See the full list of honorees here.
The female-dominated nominations for the major categories are certainly interesting, seeing as last year’s awards went almost entirely to men. Alessia Cara, who won Best New Artist, was the only woman to be presented with a major award during the live show. The awards show’s lack of female winners, coincidentally, came on a night when many women stood up against inequality and discrimination in the music industry.
Recording Academy President Neil Portnow received a lot of backlash for the comments he made regarding this issue when he spoke with reporters in the GRAMMY press room following the show. He said female artists needed to “step up” to the plate.
“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, who want to be producers, who want to be part of the industry on the executive level — to step up, because I think they would be welcome,” he explained. “I don’t have personal experience of those kinds of brick walls that you face, but I think it’s really a combination — it’s us as an industry making the welcome mat very obvious. Creating mentorships, creating opportunities not only for women but for all people who want to be creative and really paying it forward and creating that next generation of artists who feel like they can do anything and say anything.”
“So if someone’s passionate about it,” he added, “doesn’t matter your gender, genre, geography — do your stuff, take it from your heart and put it out there.”
“Women in music don’t need to ‘step up’ — women have been stepping since the beginning of time,” the “Beautiful Trauma” singer tweeted. “Stepping up, and also stepping aside. Women owned music this year. They’ve been killing it. And every year before this.”
She continued, “When we celebrate and honor 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 means to be fair.”
The 61st annual GRAMMYs air on Feb. 10, 2019, on CBS. In the meantime, hear more on this year’s nominees in the video below.