Women take hold of Gram­mys

The Columbus Dispatch - - Front Page - By Mesfin Fekadu

The Grammy Awards kicked off Sun­day with a group of pow­er­ful women, in­clud­ing Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga, de­scrib­ing the role of mu­sic in their lives — a dis­play that came a year af­ter fe­male voices were some­what muted at the 2018 cer­e­mony.

“Mu­sic has al­ways helped me tell my story,” Obama said at the Sta­ples Cen­ter in Los An­ge­les. “Whether we like coun­try or rap or rock, mu­sic helps us share our­selves. It al­lows us to hear one an­other.”

Gaga told the crowd: “They said I was weird, that my look, that my choices, that my sound wouldn’t work. But mu­sic told me not to lis­ten to them.”

Jada Pin­kett Smith and Jen­nifer Lopez also spoke and stood in sol­i­dar­ity with Obama, Gaga and Ali­cia Keys, who hosted the show air­ing on CBS.

The open­ing con­trasted with last year’s Gram­mys, where male acts dom­i­nated in nom­i­na­tions and the only woman com­pet­ing for the top award, Lorde, didn’t get a chance to per­form on­stage.

But this year, Gaga, Brandi Carlile and Kacey Mus­graves won mul­ti­ple Gram­mys.

Carlile won three hon­ors in the Amer­i­cana cat­e­gory and com­peted for the three big­gest awards dur­ing the live show: al­bum, song and record of the year.

Gaga also won three, in­clud­ing best pop duo/group per­for­mance, a win she shared with Bradley Cooper.

“Thank you so much. I got to thank God, thank you for look­ing out for me. Thank you for my fam­ily,” The al­ways stylish Janelle Monae didn’t dis­ap­point at the Sta­ples Cen­ter. Diana Ross rocks the house with an all-too-quick per­for­mance of “The Best Years Of My Life” and “Reach Out And Touch.”

she said. “I wish Bradley was here with me right now.”

Gaga, now a nine-time Grammy win­ner, won for best song writ­ten for vis­ual me­dia for “Shal­low,” from “A Star is Born.” The song is nom­i­nated for an Os­car and also won at the Golden Globes, Crit­ics’ Choice Movie Awards and the Satel­lite Awards.

Women had a strong pres­ence in the top cat­e­gories. Five of the eight al­bum-of-the-year nom­i­nees were women: Carlile’s “By the Way, I For­give You,” Janelle Monae’s “Dirty Com­puter,” Cardi B’s “In­va­sion of Pri­vacy,” Mus­graves’ “Golden Hour” and H.E.R.’S self­ti­tled al­bum.

Six of the best-new-artist nom­i­nees were women: H.E.R., Chloe x Halle, Margo Price, Dua Lipa, Bebe Dolly Par­ton was a vi­sion in red on the Gram­mys red car­pet. Rexha and Jorja Smith.

When asked about the lack of women in the top cat­e­gories at the 2018 Gram­mys, Record­ing Academy CEO Neil Port­now said women need to “step up.” His much-crit­i­cized re­marks forced the academy to launch a new task force fo­cused on in­clu­sion and di­ver­sity.

Ari­ana Grande won her first Grammy in the same week that she pub­licly blasted Gram­mys pro­ducer Ken Ehrlich and ac­cused him of ly­ing about why she was no longer per­form­ing at the show.

Child­ish Gam­bino, Tori Kelly and Lau­ren Daigle won two awards each. Non-tra­di­tional win­ners in­cluded Hugh Jack­man, Dave Chap­pelle, “Weird Al” Yankovic and even for­mer Pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter.


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