Artists Slam Grammys President Neil Portnow For Saying Women Need To “Step Up” To Be Nominated

Written by Sam Murphy on 1st February, 2018

Artists Slam Grammys President Neil Portnow For Saying Women Need To “Step Up” To Be Nominated

Grammys President Neil Portnow has angered artists by his response to the lack of female nominees and winners at this year’s awards.

This year, only one female won a major award during the televised part of the Grammys, with Alessia Cara taking home Best New Artist.

Portnow was later asked about the lack of female inclusion by Variety and he responded, “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 the executive level.

“[They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome. I don’t have personal experience of those kinds of brick walls that you 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.”

Unsurprisingly, his comments haven’t gone down well with many musicians, particularly in regards to his opinion that women need to “step up” in order to get nominations.

P!nk, who performed at this year’s event, shared a note on her Twitter writing, “Women in music don’t need to ‘step up’ — women have been stepping up since the beginning of time.

“Women OWNED music this year. They’ve been KILLING IT.”

Charli XCX also responded, writing on Twitter, “Ugh bout 2 step up on 2 ur face.. women are making AMAZING music right now wtf is this dude talking about ?????”

Tegan & Sara also responded to the comments, writing, “Well. At least the music industry is consistent across North America in putting the blame on women for not being nominated.”

Lorde was nominated for the Album Of The Year Grammy this year for Melodrama, however she lost to Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic. She was also reportedly denied the right to perform solo at this year’s awards.

Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich responded to the decision by saying, “We have a box and it gets full. She had a great album. There’s no way we can really deal with everybody.”

While Lorde hasn’t responded directly to either Ehrlich or Portnow, she did send out what appears to be a clever subtweet, linking to her tour dates, saying, “IF YOU’RE DEBATING WHETHER OR NOT I CAN MURDER A STAGE… COME SEE IT FOR URSELF.”

Check out the artists’ comments, below.

RELATED: Here’s The Full List Of 2018 Grammy Award Winners

Photo: Michael Kovac / Getty Images


Sell tickets with moshtix!

Subscribe to the weekly moshguide!

  • Please enter a valid email address