Women and rap dominate 61st Grammy Awards

World Today

A ‘golden’ night for rap artists and women at this year’s Grammy awards.

 For the first time, a rap song took two of the industry’s top awards, and women performers won more than half of the categories. 

CGTN’s May Lee has details.

Leading up to the Grammys, there was already a growing call for better female representation in music and that was heard loud and clear Sunday night, beginning on the red carpet.

“I think every woman should respect herself and every man should respect the women. So you know, we’ll get by. We’re doing great, we’re making great strides and I’m proud to be a woman in this business.” Grammy nominee Brandi Carlile said, “I feel like my being here is a responsibility that I take very seriously. Representation is life or death,” Grammy honoree Dolly Parton said.

Female power kicked off the show when host Alicia Keyes was joined by Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Jennifer Lopez and surprise guest, former first lady Michelle Obama. 

“Music shows us that all of it matters,” Obama said. “Every story, within every voice; every note within every song.”

Most of the performances were also lead by powerful female artists including Janelle Monae, Cardi B, and Lady Gaga, as well as a tribute to the one and only Dolly Parton. Women also carried home most of the golden gramophones.

Unlike last year when only 25% of nominees in the biggest categories were women, this year it was nearly 63 percent. Those improved numbers translated into more wins, with H.E.R. taking home the award for Best R&B Album, and Dua Lipa being named Best New Artist.

“No matter where you’re from, what your background is, or what you believe in, never let that get in the way of you and your dreams, because you deserve it” said Lipa. 

History was made in the Best Rap Album category when Cardi B became the first woman to win the Grammy. Lady Gaga and “A Star is Born”co-star Bradley Cooper won for best pop duo/group performance for their hit song, “Shallow.”

“I just want to say I’m so proud to be part of a movie that addresses mental health issues,” said Lady Gaga. “They’re so important.” Album of the Year went to female country music artist Kacey Musgrave. 

One of the biggest singers in the world, Ariana Grande, won for Best Pop Vocal Album, but boycotted the program after a very public feud with the Grammy Awards show producer over a planned performance. History was also made by male performer Childish Gambino. He won the Grammy for both Song and Record of the Year, the first time a rap song has won in both categories.