Grammy Awards Recap & Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony
Grammy Awards Recap
By Chloe Cornell
The overriding theme of this year’s Grammy Awards? It was the year of the woman!
Fifteen time Grammy winner Alicia Keys hosted the event, the first time that a woman hosted the Grammys in the past decade. Keys had promised a show highlighting the extraordinary female performers in the music industry and she delivered! It was immediately apparent that the night was going to be different and special when Keys opened the show with a powerhouse girl gang including Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jennifer Lopez and Michelle Obama. Each woman discussed how music has impacted their lives, with Keys explaining, “Music is what we all love, music is what it’s all about.” She continued, “Everybody is out here shining and I’m so proud to bring us together to honor this moment because music is what we cry to, it’s what we march to, it’s what we rock to, it’s what we make love to. It’s our shared global language.”
The female-heavy performance line-up and prominence in award categories may have been in response to Recording Industry President Neil Portnow’s controversial comments after last year’s awards show when he said that “women needed to step up” if they wanted to receive awards. Immediately after significant backlash, the Grammys announced a new initiative to improve “female advancement.” Portnow announced, “The Recording Academy is establishing an independent task force to review every aspect of what we do as an organization and identify where we can do more to overcome the explicit barriers and unconscious biases that impede female advancement in the music community.” He added, “We will also place ourselves under a microscope and tackle whatever truths are revealed.” We can assume that the microscope revealed significant gender bias, as the Academy added 900 new voting members and there was an 82% increase in females winning awards in this year’s event from last year. A total of 31 women won awards including Emily Lazar who made history as the first female to win Best Engineered Album and is our Five Questions subject in this month’s issue.
Other history making women included Cardi B who was the first female solo artist to win Best Rap Album of the Year and Brandi Carlile who was the first openly LGBTQ artist to win Best Americana Album. Another impressive result of the evening was that women won five of the six top Best Album awards: Ariana Grande won Pop Vocal, Kacey Musgraves won Country, H.E.R. won R&B, Cardi B won Rap, and Kacey Musgraves won Album of the Year. Dua Lipa won Best New Artist, and Lady Gaga won three awards including Best Pop Solo performance for “Joanne,” best song for visual media for “Shallow” and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance “Shallow.”
Women also put on an amazing show with many stand out performances including Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Alicia Keys playing on two pianos, Janelle Monáe, Lady Gaga, H.E.R., Kacey Musgraves, Brandi Carlile, Dua Lipa and St. Vincent, Jennifer Lopez, Motown queen Diana Ross who is celebrating her 75th birthday, and a Dolly Parton tribute also featuring Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, and Little Big Town.
The night featured a little bit of everything. As Michelle Obama said at the start of the evening, “From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side to the ‘Who Run the World’ songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story.” Unifying the entire audience, Obama continued, “And I know that’s true for everybody here, whether we like country or rap or rock. Music helps us share ourselves, our dignity, our sorrows, our hopes, and joys. It allows us to hear one another, to invite one another in. Music shows us that all of it matters, every story, every voice, every note, in every song. Is that right, ladies?” It sure is.
Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony
By Caroline Antonacci
The 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, presented by Klipsch Audio, will be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on March 29. It will be broadcasted on HBO and Sirius XM. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be inducting two extraordinary female artists, Janet Jackson and Stevie Nicks.
Janet Jackson is the youngest in the musical Jackson family and one of the best selling artists in contemporary history. Some of her most popular albums include ‘Control’, ‘Rhythm Nation 1814’, ‘The Velvet Rope’, and ‘Unbreakable’. Her debut album in 1982 was titled ‘Janet Jackson’. She also wrote and released a book called True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself, which was about body image and her struggles with weight. She co-wrote the book with journalist David Ritz, and the book was a No. 1 New York Times best seller. Jackson has sold over 160 million records worldwide. Her latest single called “Made for Now” had the number one spot on iTunes and the video has over 42 million views.
Stevie Nicks is the only woman to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame institution twice. Beginning as a member of Fleetwood Mac, Nicks debuted with a solo Bella Donna in 1981. She made four hit singles, which includes her signature song “Edge of Seventeen.” Two years later, she was back with another top-ten single, “Stand Back.” Nicks identifies as “a rock and roll singer” who also has a signature rock and roll gypsy look with shawls, top hats, and fingerless gloves. Nicks has been doing this for five decades and continues to fill stadiums with fans.