Janelle Monae poses at the “Fem The Future” brunch to celebrate nominated women in music at Ysabel on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, in West Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP)

Women dominated in Grammys nominations, but will they win?

This year’s nominees mark a departure from the 2018 Grammys

Janelle Monae remembers being frustrated at last year’s Grammy Awards, where male acts dominated in nominations and the only woman competing for the night’s top award, Lorde, didn’t get a chance to perform onstage.

But this year, Monae is looking forward to the show, where women are now leading in nominations for big categories like album of the year and best new artist.

“This is going to be a special Grammys. As much as it is about me, it’s not just about me. Just knowing that so many women are nominated this year, looking back from last year to this year when I was on the stage at the Grammys, you could see that I was frustrated about the opportunities and about our visibility as women,” said Monae, who gave powerful speech last year ahead of Kesha’s emotional and striking performance celebrating sisterhood and women’s rights.

“Yes, we have so much more work to do, but this is a moment to be celebrated. This is a moment for women to love on each other and let each other know,” she added.

Monae’s groundbreaking album, “Dirty Computer,” is one of five albums by women nominated for the top prize at Sunday’s show, airing live at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy,” Kacey Musgraves’ “Golden Hour,” Brandi Carlile’s “By the Way, I Forgive You” and H.E.R.’s self-titled album are also in contention.

READ MORE: Grammy weekend kicks off with honour for Dolly Parton

Carlile is the most nominated woman with six nominations, including bids for song and record of the year with “The Joke.” Women also have a strong presence in those top categories, including Lady Gaga, SZA, Maren Morris and Ella Mai.

Six of the best new artist nominees are women, including H.E.R., Chloe x Halle, Margo Price, Dua Lipa, Bebe Rexha and Jorja Smith.

“What I plan to do is let every woman who is nominated, who is here this weekend, know that from the red carpet to the stage, win or lose, I have your back. I see you,” Monae said. “This is just the beginning of moving to a more inclusive future.”

This year’s nominees mark a departure from the 2018 Grammys, where Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow was criticized when he said women need to “step up” when asked about the lack of women in the top categories. He later acknowledged that it was a “poor choice of words,” and it forced the academy to launch a new task force focused on inclusion and diversity.

The lead up to this year’s Grammys hasn’t been completely smooth though. This week Ariana Grande blasted Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich and accused him of lying about why she was no longer performing at the show.

Ehrlich told the AP that Grande “felt it was too late for her to pull something together.” She responded on Twitter and said she “can pull together a performance over night and you know that, Ken.”

“It was when my creativity & self expression was stifled by you, that i decided not to attend. i hope the show is exactly what you want it to be and more,” she continued.

Carlile told the AP she stands “behind Ariana Grande’s decision to stand up for herself and her art.”

“And I feel like it’s a time in this country when women need to support each other and their decisions. I support her and I support her decision,” she added.

Grande is nominated for two awards and could miss the chance of giving a speech onstage if she wins. Other big stars also won’t be in attendance, including Kendrick Lamar, the top nominee with eight, and Drake, nominated for seven awards. Taylor Swift, who was snubbed and one scored one nomination, also won’t be at the show.

Drama has also surrounded the Grammys around its Motown Records tribute: Some people complained when a promo aired on CBS showing Jennifer Lopez as the act set to honour the legendary record label, which launched the careers of Jackson 5, the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and more. Some complained that a black artist should be involved in the tribute, while others said stronger vocalists should perform over Lopez. A representative for the Grammys didn’t return an email seeking clarification about the tribute.

READ MORE: Kendrick Lamar leads Grammy noms, where women make a comeback

Others set to perform Sunday include Cardi B, Dolly Parton, Lady Gaga, Travis Scott, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Diana Ross, J Balvin, Camila Cabello, Dan + Shay, H.E.R., Little Big Town, Post Malone and Chloe x Halle. Yolanda Adams, Fantasia and Andra Day will honour the late Aretha Franklin with a performance.

Musgraves, also nominated for best country album, song and performance, said she’s been trying to relax this week ahead of the show.

“I’ve been able to find zen moments leading up to all this. I am just grateful, I think. And I am not hung up on what happens or doesn’t happen,” she said. “Just the fact that this album has connected in such a way beyond my wildest dreams is just really cool.”

______

Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Fisheries and oceans minister spends Earth Day in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Jonathan Wilkinson in riding to support candidate Michelle Corfield

Earth Day in Nanaimo celebrates the Earth and its inhabitants

Plant a tree, pet a wolf, and see grand opening of Georgia Greenway at Nanaimo Earth Day festival

Climate action can’t be a partisan issue, say Greens

Green Party of Canada celebrated Earth Day early in Nanaimo

Editorial: Climate change is a good reason to cast a vote

Different choices around climate action and inaction will be on the ballot in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Humboldt memorial hockey tournament will make its return in Nanaimo

Fundraising tournament set for Nanaimo North Town Centre parking lot on May 5

Climate action can’t be a partisan issue, say Greens

Green Party of Canada celebrated Earth Day early in Nanaimo

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

United Way opens grants to help charities tackle social issues

Charities north of the Malahat can apply for grants $2,000 to $20,000

Second earthquake in less than two hours strikes off Vancouver Island

The first earthquake happened at 1:27 p.m., the second at 2:44 p.m.

Man’s body found in popular Cowichan Valley hiking area

Police say death not suspicious after discovery in Stoney Hill area overlooking Saltspring Island

Anti-immigration party is on the ballot in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Opposing candidate says National Citizens Alliance’s participation ‘highly problematic’

Clippers optimistic as they put finishing touches on cup-hosting bid

Nanaimo’s junior A hockey club hopes to host RBC Cup nationals in 2020-21

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Vancouver Island-based company provides glass alternatives to plastic straws

Enviro Glass Straws now producing more than 60,000 straws each year

Most Read