The same year that Ed Sheeran won a Grammy for a rip-off of TLC was the same year that Ed Sheeran won in a category in which all the other nominees were women. Kesha was in that category, for her song “Praying,” the song about all of the sh-t she went through with her predatory, abusive producer Dr. Luke. Kesha was given the space and time to perform “Praying” on the Grammys and it was incredibly moving:
Kesha has been through hell. Not just the hell of abuse, sexual assault, a public gaslighting and emotional abuse, she’s also been through the ringer legally and financially, fighting to separate herself and her catalogue from Dr. Luke. It was a powerful moment on stage at the Grammys, in front of a lot of music industry professionals who looked the other way when Dr. Luke was abusing her, and when she was fighting for her catalogue, and fighting to be free of her abuser in every way.
And still, the song didn’t win anything. They gave the Grammy to Ed Sheeran. In fact, all of the major Grammy Awards went to men, which is probably why #GrammysSoMale is now trending on Twitter. It’s not just that Kesha performed and then James Corden mansplained her performance afterwards. It’s not that Kesha lost to Ed Bloody Sheeran. It’s not that Lorde – an Album of the Year nominee, the only woman in that category – wasn’t asked to perform solo at the Grammys. It’s all of that and more, it’s how the music industry devalues women. It’s how the priority for the Grammys was Bono (who recently said music was “too girly” these days), Shaggy, Sting and various beardy country artists.
The only female winner presented with a Grammy Award on Sunday night? Alessia Cara, who took home Best New Artist. Recording Academy president Neil Portnow was asked by Variety about #GrammysSoMale and had this to say:
“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.”
Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich deflected when asked the same question. “It’s not for me to talk about,” he said. “I produce the TV show.” As for whether it was a mistake to not give Album of the Year nominee Lorde an onstage moment, Ehrlich answered: “I don’t know if it was a mistake. These shows are a matter of choices. We have a box and it gets full. She had a great album. There’s no way we can really deal with everybody.”
One has to wonder if the attendance of Taylor Swift would have made a difference. Said Ehrlich: “It wasn’t her year. She was kind of off cycle. Hopefully we’ll see her next year.”
How f–king stupid. When asked about their sexist decision-making process for the Grammys, the the president and producer both blamed women for not wanting it enough, for not being men, for not being Taylor Swift, for daring to expect to be treated with the same f–king artistic courtesy they gave SHAGGY.
Kesha’s suit is by Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors, just FYI.
Photos courtesy of WENN.