After the 2018 Grammy Awards were heavily criticized for the almost entirely male nominations and wins, this year’s awards are looking up. The 2019 Grammy nominations are here and they’re full of incredibly talented female artists. The Recording Academy released the nominations for the 61st Grammy Awards today, December 7th, and this year, all four of the awards’ top categories have mostly female nominees. The list included both established stars like Cardi B, Janelle Monáe, and Lady Gaga, as well as lesser-known gems like Brandi Carlile, H.E.R., and Ella Mai.
While no women were nominated for “Record of the Year” last year, five out of the eight nominees this year are women. Five out of the eight artists in the running for “Album of the Year” and “Song of the Year” are also female, compared to one in each categories last year. And although she’s not listed as a primary artist, trans songwriter Teddy Geiger worked on another “Song of the Year” nominee, Shawn Mendes’ “In My Blood.”
The “Best New Artist” category, which was the only category won by a solo female artist last year, had six female nominees: Bebe Rexha, Jorja Smith, H.E.R., Dua Lipa, Margo Price, and Chloe X Halle.
The artists with the most nominations, however, were Kendrick Lamar and Drake, proving that men haven’t been entirely unseated. Neil Portnow, the president and CEO of the Recording Academy, told The New York Times that “reflection, re-evaluation, and implementation” had led to changes in the Grammys’ processes—resulting in more female nominees. Portnow came under fire last year after he remarked that female artists just needed to “step up” in response to complaints about the Grammys’ overwhelmingly male winners. Shortly before last year’s show, a USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative study showed that only 9.3% of Grammy nominees between 2013 and 2018 were women.
Congratulations to all the nominees!