If you weren't upset with the results of last night's Grammy Awards, then you weren't paying attention. Long story short: no women were given awards during the entire live broadcast (with the exception of Alessia Cara winning Best New Artist).
The night did, however, deliver several amazing performances by some of our favorite women — Gaga boldly proclaimed "Time's Up" during a soulful mashup of "Joanne" and "Million Reasons," and SZA lit up the stage (literally) for "Broken Clocks," while Kesha demonstrated unmistakable girl power with a star-studded performance of her single "Praying," and Rihanna showed everyone how to have a good time with her guest spot on "Wild Thoughts." But among the many great female performers who took the stage that night, one artist, in particular, was notably missing.
Ella Yelich-O'Connor (better known as Lorde) was absent from the performance roster this year. Both Variety and Stereogum report that the New Zealand-born singer decided not to perform after the show's producers wouldn't allow her to do so solo. Adding further fuel to the fire was the fact that all of her fellow male nominees (except Jay Z, who declined) for Album Of The Year no less were at liberty to perform songs of their choice, while Lorde was only invited to perform a Tom Petty tribute "American Girl." Sigh. Of course, the singer remained gracious, showing up in full force to support her fellow musicians.
On the decision, Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich, rather incredulously, said, "I don’t know if it was a mistake. These shows are a matter of choices. We have a box and it gets full. She had a great album. There’s no way we can really deal with everybody.” The show certainly is a matter of choice, and Ehrlich chose incorrectly.
As we've previously reported, the vast majority of attendees wore white roses in solidarity with the #TimesUp movement. Lorde, however, wore a white rose of a different kind. Sowed into the waist of her immaculate red lace Valentino gown was a poem by feminist artist Jenny Holzer reading: "The old and corrupt must be laid to waste before the just can triumph" (full text below). An appropriate sentiment if you ask us.
For the severely problematic music industry, it's important to remember that acknowledging the problem is, in fact, the first step to recovery. But despite the many disappointments we experienced, we remain hopeful thanks to women like Lorde who continue to speak up for what is right.