Recording Academy president Neil Portnow is facing a great deal of backlash following the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. After a slew of male winners and performers at the Sunday, January 28, show, at NYC’s Madison Square Garden. Portnow stated that women need to “step up” in order to be recognized.
After his statement, many female artists, including Katy Perry, Sheryl Crow and Pink, voiced their disappointment. Kelly Clarkson, who was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance, took to Twitter on Wednesday, January 31, to respond.
“A confused soul said women need to ‘step up’ their A-game if they wanna start winning and you know what, I’m not even mad at ignorance,” the “Love So Soft” singer tweeted. “I’m just gonna kindly point you in the direction of my A-game album I recently dropped.”
Clarkson then added that she “Jenna Dewan’d that s—t,” referencing Dewan-Tatum’s hit film, Step Up.
Clarkson’s statement echoed that of Pink, who performed at the show.
“Women in music don’t need to ‘step up’ — women have been stepping since the beginning of time,” the singer, 38, tweeted on Monday, January 29. “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 that 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.”
Alessia Cara was the only female to win during the telecast and Lorde, the only best album nominee — and only female in the category — was not asked to perform.
After the backlash, Portnow released a new statement, saying his “step up” comment was taken out of context.
“Our industry must recognize that women who dream of careers in music face barriers that men have never faced,” he told The New York Times on Tuesday, January 30. “We must actively work to eliminate these barriers and encourage women to live their dreams and express their passion and creativity through music. We must welcome, mentor and empower them. Our community will be richer for it.
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“I regret that I wasn’t as articulate as I should have been in conveying this thought,” Portnow added. “I remain committed to doing everything I can to make our music community a better, safer and more representative place for everyone.”
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