The Grammys drew criticism last year for their noticeable lack of female nominees. This year, women must have “stepped it up,” just like outgoing Recording Academy president Neil Portnow asked for.
In the big four categories (Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist), there are a total of 22 female nominees, including features and collabs, compared to last year with just six. Granted, the Recording Academy increased the number of nominations in the general field this year, which was part of its efforts to curb the backlash from last year.
In his now infamous post-2018 Grammys interview, Portnow said women need to “step up” in order for the Recording Academy to recognize them. After female executives and artists in the industry made it abundantly clear how problematic Portnow’s comment was, he agreed to step down in July 2019. The Recording Academy has since made an effort to step up on its end, including hiring Tina Tchen, Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff, to lead the Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion. One of Tchen’s first initiatives was to invite 900 new academy members who check off the boxes of being either a woman, person of color, under the age of 39, or any/all of the above.
And those efforts seem to be working with more women being recognized this year.
Read the full list of nominees here.