For many years, a pattern has persisted at the Grammys: women are often neglected. This year, however, was different. The show opened with a myriad of powerful women, including host Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jennifer Lopez, and Michelle Obama. In contrast with previous shows, the women stole the show and highlighted how music has given them a voice. Dua Lipa won best new artist; Kacey Musgraves won album of the year for “Golden Hour” and won four Grammys total; and Cardi B became the first solo female artist to win rap album of the year.
Last year, Head of the Recording Academy Neil Portnow drew criticism after he told women to “step up’’ since they weren’t represented in the top categories of awards. During the awards show on Sunday, he said, “This past year I’ve been reminded that if coming face to face with an issue opens your eyes wide enough, it makes you more committed than ever to address those issues. We must seize this unique moment to ensure there is diversity and inclusion.’’ Singer Dua Lipa further quipped at his previous comment and nodded to her fellow female winners when she stated, “I guess this year we’ve really stepped up.’’