The Grammys announce a new study into women’s representation in music

Just 198 of this year’s 853 Grammy Nominations were for musicians who identified as women.

by Roisin Lanigan
08 March 2021, 12:03pm

A new study from the Recording Academy -- the music industry body behind the Grammys -- is set to investigate women’s representation in the music industry. In a timely move for International Women’s Day , the Recording Academy announced over the weekend that is has teamed up with Berklee College of Music and Arizona State University to promote greater gender equality across the industry.

While it might seem obvious that women have a huge influence in pop music, those female pop stars we hear about most are statistically the exception, rather than the rule, when it comes to recognition through awards. In fact, the study comes after a furore following this year’s Grammy nominations, which skewed heavily male. Over three quarters of artists nominated for the awards, due to take place 14 March, were male. Just 198 nominees this year out of 853, across 83 categories, identified as women. 

The Recording Academy plan to use the results of their research, expected to be published relatively quickly, by 2022, to promote greater gender equality within the industry, and to double the amount of female voters on their panel by 2025. “The music industry is in need of a broad gender study that examines women representation beyond today’s popular music,” Susan Whitehead, the chair of the Berklee College of Music board of trustees, told The Guardian in a statement. “We look forward to working with the Recording Academy to develop strong methodology for this study and to authentically address the lack of women representation in the music industry.”

Looking ahead to this year’s ceremony, while it might be too late to create greater diversity in the acts nominated, the performances, announced today, are some consolation. The line-up for this year’s socially distant ceremony, due to take place this Sunday, include Bad Bunny, Black Pumas, BTS, Brandi Carlisle, DaBaby, Doja Cat, Billie Eilish, Mickey Guyton, HAIM, Brittany Howard, Miranda Lambert, Lil Baby, Dua Lipa, Megan Thee Stallion, Post Malone, Harry Styles, and Taylor Swift. And even Cardi B, who’s record-and-internet-breaking “WAP” was not submitted for an award, will be making an appearance. We love to see it.

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