Last year’s Grammy Awards was, by and large, a male-dominated affair, with Album Of The Year nominee Lorde being left off the performance slate and all women aside from Alessia Cara being shut out of the major award categories. Discussions of gender bias in the music industry quickly spread, leading Recording Academy president Neil Portnow to say that women need to “step up” creatively if they’d like to win awards and, by extension, admit that he didn’t listen to Lorde’s Melodrama or St. Vincent’s MASSEDUCTION.
Suffice it to say, Portnow’s comments were received poorly and he subsequently formed an independent task force to combat anti-woman bias in the industry. He also recently announced that he’ll be stepping down in July. As he descends, however, another presence ascends, “stepping up,” if you will, as this year’s host. That would be Alicia Keys, a 15-time Grammy winner herself.
“I know what it feels like to be on that stage, and I’m going to bring that vibe and energy,” Keys said in a statement. “I’m so excited to be the master of ceremonies on the biggest night in music and celebrate the creativity, power and, magic. I’m especially excited for all the incredible women nominated this year!” She capped it off with a nod to Portnow: “It’s going “UP” on February 10!”
Cardi B, Boi-1da, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Brandi Carlile lead this year’s nominations, with the latter three scoring nods for record, song, and album of the year. The ceremony will unfold on February 10 at Los Angeles’ Staples Center.