As if the Grammys needed another controversy about how female musicians are treated by the recording academy. Ariana Grande isn’t performing at the awards despite being nominated twice — Best Pop Album for “Sweetener” and Best Pop Solo Performance for “God is a Woman” — but she says Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich is lying about why.
Ehrlich told the Associated Press that Grande isn’t performing because she “felt it was too late for her to pull something together.” But Grande tweeted, “I can pull together a performance overnight and you know that, Ken” (read her tweet at the bottom of this post). She added that she offered three different songs as possibilities for her performance, but that her “creativity and self-expression” were “stifled,” so she decided not to perform.
This comes a year after the Grammys landed in hot water when it was revealed that Lorde wasn’t offered the opportunity to perform solo even though she was the only woman nominated for Album of the Year. Then, in response to how few women actually won awards that night, Grammy president Neil Portnow notoriously told female artists to “step up” if they want recognition. That didn’t go over well either.
This year the Grammys made significant changes. They expanded the top four general field categories from five nominees to eight. They also created a diversity task force and invited a slew of new members to the recording academy. And they recently announced a new initiative to increase female representation among music producers and engineers.
Despite this dustup over her kiboshed performance, we’re predicting that Grande will win both of her Grammy nominations, which would be her first ever victories at these awards. But for now Grande is telling the recording academy, “Thank you, next.”
i’ve kept my mouth shut but now you’re lying about me. i 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. 🖤
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) February 7, 2019
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