Women in the music industry call for “evolution” in the grammys

Bruno Mars received seven Grammys, including Album, Song and Record of the Year.

Women in the music industry call for “evolution” in the grammys

The music industry’s top solo artists and senior female executives are demanding changes in the recording academy. That trend has increased in the past week since the Jan. 28 telecast of the annual grammy awards at Madison square garden.

Outcry is the format and content of television this year and the recording academy – its members voted for the grammy awards professional organization – and a television producer – a statement of the most senior officials of direct response.

Among them are Pink, Fiona Apple, India.Arie, Sheryl Crow, Vanessa Carlton, Charli XCX and Kelly Clarkson and two groups of highly influential female industry executives. Many of these women are called on to the recording academy (also known as NARAS or the national recording arts and sciences) the operation mode of a fundamental change, and to change the organization’s leadership. NARAS has responded by planning to address gender bias. But NPR learned that the group does not know the current demographics of its membership.

Before the upcoming this year’s grammy awards, there are a lot of public speculation about whether the college will with Hollywood in the coordination and effect of this year’s golden globes, solve the problem of # # MeToo and TimesUp – in Meryl streep memorable to call it “bold black line”.

The recording academy may expect this evening to be a victory lap, marking the industry’s own 60th anniversary. Thanks to Kendrick Lamar’s provocative opening performance and a section dedicated to #MeToo and #TimesUp, the organisers of the ceremony are entirely likely to think they are checking all the correct boxes for 2018.

Instead, most of the “music’s biggest night, referred to as the recording academy like its coming is dedicated to security, familiar with in – including U2, sting and woolly show – but there are moments when today’s conversation peep into the field of vision. (Dave chapelle, kendrick Lamar’s mid-terms: “it is honest to see a black man in the United States, and even worse, an honest black man in America.”) )

During the three-and-a-half-hour telecast, only one solo female musician accepted an award on screen: Alessia Cara, who won the best new artist award.

Much of the talk about gender equality and alleged sexual misbehaviour was anchored in part of the TV show, except for the lapels of many participants and the white rose on the dress. First came the fiery introduction of singer and actress Janelle Monae, who said: “we are quiet, but we mean business. To those who dare to try to silence us, we will give you two words: time is up.

The following is a “prayer” led by Kesha, by Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Bebe Rexha, Julia Michels, Andra Day and Resistance Revival Chorus. And then it goes back to bono.

There have been high-profile allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct in the industry, and many female musicians have added their stories to the #MeToo campaign. But the accusations are not as widespread as they once were, nor are they as striking as the Hollywood charges.


NARAS has no jurisdiction over the wider music industry, but it may be the closest approximation to the record industry professional league. It is both a banner operator and a microcosm of large enterprises. Music fans, artists and other women have publicly expressed their disappointment at The Recording Academy in The week following The grammy awards.

In the audience, the only woman nominated for the album of the year award – the only woman to be nominated for album of the year – was set up without a performance on the TV. After the ceremony, Variety, a trade publication, asked the President and chief executive of the recording academy Neil Portnow and TV producer Ken Ehrlich about Lorde’s absence.

Mr. Ehrlich said Variety didn’t have the time to list Lord as a soloist. “These programs are a matter of choice,” Ehrlich said. “We have a box, it’s full,” he said, adding, “we can’t really deal with everyone.”

Since 2002, Portnow has led the recording academy; He replaced Michael green, who was forced to resign after accusing him of sexual harassment and abuse of another college administrator. (according to the New York times, the NARAS trustee allegedly paid a $650,000 settlement to the woman, then hired a private detective to check on green’s and female colleagues’ behavior.) Around the same time, the Los Angeles times also ran a series of investigation and review the financial position of the recording academy, and claims that the NARAS charity MusiCares spent less than 10% of the financing income to help artists.

In this year’s TV broadcast, Portnow has been shown in his lapel as the #TimesUp white rose – a comment on Variety that could be even more annoying for many women. “It must first be… Those who want to be musicians, want to be engineers, producers, and want to be a part of the executive industry, their hearts and souls are creative, “he said. . In a phrase that immediately became notorious, Ms. Portano added that women need to “strengthen because I think they will be welcomed.”

Some famous female musicians, like nine grammy award winners Sheryl Crow, and three winners Kelly Clarkson and Charli XCX, use social media to express their feelings. On January 30, another three grammy award-winner Pink in this year’s TV show her ballad “wild heart can be broken,” and posted a note, on Twitter directly comment on “strengthening” of Portnow, but did not mention Portnow himself.

“Women in music do not need to ‘strengthen’,” she wrote. “Women have been walking, stepping up and giving up since the beginning.”

In a separate statement on Wednesday, Mr. Potro tried to respond to his comments on Variety. He claimed that “enhanced” comments were out of context and did not quote “convey my beliefs and the views I tried to make”.

Portnow refused comment on NPR’s request, but in a statement sent to NPR and other media on Thursday, he announced the recording academy is to set up an independent working group, to “examine every aspect of us as an organization, and to determine where we can do more to overcome obstacles women progress of dominant obstacle and unconscious prejudice the music industry. ”

For years, I was a voting member of the recording academy; I am mainly the author of the liner notes for various recording projects, but I also have reissued the producer credit. I also served as the judges of the award for best album notes, this is one of the few grammy award category, not by our members to vote, but vote by a small committee decision, the committee members distribution NARAS chapters in several areas. And my own experience was that I had been the only woman in the room for a couple of years. (since 2011, when I joined NPR, I’ve never joined a recording academy or a grammy.)

My experience may not be very unique: a common stereotype is that most Oscar voters — about 12,000 people — are older whites. As far as actual statistics are concerned, the identity of the grammys and how their demographic information might (or cannot) be skewed towards them is not clear. As a former voter, I don’t remember being asked about my gender, age or race. So, in the process of pursuing the Portnow review, I asked if the organization had any statistical data about its members.

Through a spokesman, the recording academy said NARAS had incomplete information about its membership; It requires its members to provide the data, but does not require them to provide the data. So the leadership of NARAS has no idea of the composition of the existing members – which could be a major obstacle to the kinds of improvements that Mr Porter promises to achieve.

Through a representative, Lord declined to comment directly to NPR about her absence from Madison square garden. However, on the evening of the ceremony, she posted a picture of artist Jenny holzer on Instagram, stitching her behind her dress, which she called “the white rose”.

However, a source close to the singer confirmed that the only invitation Lorde received for this year’s grammy awards telecast was to be part of a group show honoring the late Tom Petty. Every other artist has been nominated for the album of the year – except Lord, all men have a chance to perform alone. Bruno Mars, naive gambino and kendrick Lamar; Jay-z reportedly declined the invitation. (meanwhile, Lorde’s record President Republic Records, a man named Charlie Walk, was on holiday on January 31 after three women were accused of misdemeanour. On Monday, Walk filed a complaint against the Manhattan district attorney’s office against a group of Ohio radio bosses trying to blackmail him.

After her comments, some prominent female artists and industry figures condemned him. Some specific requirements potter to step down, including won a grammy award nominations singer-songwriter and singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton, in 2003 and the television program. Carlton has been promoting a petition calling for the resignation of portnoen. It is not clear whether the petitioners, who have signed nearly 14,000 people, are mostly fans or individuals working in the music industry.

“If it doesn’t work, you have to change the system,” says Carlton. “The way you do this is to start from the top, I hope there is a fresh blood – I think that I am not lonely, the President has very good quality, and I know he is a good man, however, when you want to change, a leader must be changed. “


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