For the First Time Ever, the Best Rock Performance Grammy Nominees Are All Women

It's been a looooong time coming.

For the very first time in the history of the Recording Academy, all five nominees in the Grammys’ Best Rock Performance category are women. Nominees include Fiona Apple for “Shameika,” Phoebe Bridgers for “Kyoto,” HAIM for “The Steps,” Brittany Howard for “Stay High,” Grace Potter for “Daylight,” and Big Thief (led by Adrienne Lenker) for “Not.” Apple ultimately took home the award for “Shameika” as part of the Grammys pre-show.

Though it may feel like it took too long to get to this point, the women nominated have spoken out on how glad they are that it’s finally happened. Howard spoke to E! News on the red carpet before Sunday’s Grammys ceremony and called her fellow nominees and performers her “sisters.”

“It’s about time women get their due,” she said, adding that she believes the Grammys try to keep up with the way society is changing. She also noted that the industry is now at a point where there are many more women and “creative people” leading the scene.

The rock category isn’t the only category breaking boundaries this year, though. In the Best Country Solo Performance category, Mickey Guyton became the first Black women ever to score a nomination. She was quick, however, to tell E! News before the show that she’s certain she “won’t be the last.”

Additionally, Tiffany Haddish taking home the Grammy during the pre-show for her album Black Mitzvah in the Best Comedy Album category made her just the fourth women ever to win the award. Fellow comedian and previous winner Kathy Griffin congratulated her on Twitter while also calling out the statistic.

And another milestone in the 2021 ceremony: Megan Thee Stallion nabbed the award for Best New Artist, making her the first female rapper to win the award since Lauryn Hill in 1999.

These big nominations are part of a recent shift the Recording Academy seems to be making—and the data backs it up. A data analysis team at USC took a look at the nominations at this year’s Grammys in the top five categories (Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, and Producer of the Year) to analyze how many women were nominated. They found that 28.1% of the nominees were female, and while that number is low, it is an improvement from previous years. The study noted, “While women represented 13.4% of nominees across nine years, their share of nominations has increased over time.”

All of this is a step in the right direction of more inclusion for women at awards shows. With so many talented women making music, it only makes sense that they would be raking in the nominations and trophies.

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