The Beatles, the Stones, Led Zeppelin etc simply didn’t have a role for a female in their lineup. Yoko and Linda might have had roles in the Beatles just before they finally made the breakup official, but the world was a very different place back in the day.
Not understanding the almost overnight need for women in music today to be recognised more in an archaic awards show like the Grammys, the peculiar thing is that this event has always been dismissed as being more about the past than the present- an old person’s club where winning a Grammy has never been something of great prestige. But in this year of hashtags, sudden memory recall and being angry just about everything there’s around until there’s really nothing more to vent celebrity angst upon, female artists are up in arms because the awards show has supposedly “snubbed” female artists. Really? I mean, really, really? How does Kendrick Lamar feel- and nothing against nice guy Bruno Mars- for not receiving the Grammy for Record Of The Year?
President of the American Recording Academy and corporate face of the Grammys for seemingly forever Neil Portnow has fanned the fires of moral indignation by stating that it’s time female artists “step up”.
At a time when men are walking on eggshells, here’s the head of the Grammys telling women that they have to, well, “step up”. Nice timing, Neil and thank gawd that Oprah is not a singer-songwriter. Perhaps it’s time old Neil stepped down and made way for a woman to see if there’ll be any difference.
The Grammys has been ignoring great music talent for decades. Let’s not turn this into some gender war and another hashtag and more tweets, handwringing and speeches. Please, Lorde, stop it. And you, too, Pink, though count the ways I love your music. Lorde? Hmmmm.
Did the Grammys ever acknowledge Sly Stone, Rufus, Rose Royce, Hendrix, Cream, the Kinks? The list is endless as are the many times when the Grammys got it all wrong like when the always innovative Beck’s pretty weak “Morning Phase” won Album Of The Year in 2015 over the self titled album by Beyoncé and all the “apology awards” handed out to Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood, Neil Young long after their most influential work went totally unrecognised, and where Kanye West has won more Grammys than the Beatles. Imagine: Sgt Pepper’s never won a Grammy.
For someone who believes Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Carly Simon, Tracy Chapman, Laura Nyro, Janis Ian and a number of others to be brilliant (female) songwriters and Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and Peggy Lee plus a breakthrough new artist like Tash Sultana amongst others to be some of the greatest performers and singers to ever come along and have been respected and lauded by so many, female artists have always- always- been part of the mix.
Joni Mitchell, Rita Coolidge and Carly Simon dated and lived with some of the most powerful men in music. Were they “victims” of sexual predators? No, they were wonderful ladies who inspired great love that translated into beautiful love songs.
Music is music is music is music. Billboard magazine creating all these different charts to label music hasn’t helped. It’s created a great divide. It’s not bringing artists together in a natural way. And now, because of a largely irrelevant and passé awards show trying to create a further divide isn’t helping. It’s destroying music and bringing Hollywood type politics where it shouldn’t exist.
#GRAMMYS #NeilPortnow #Beyonce #KanyeWest #KendrickLamar #BrunoMars #Beatles #music #musicindustry #JoniMitchell #CarlySimon #Lorde