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Although Kesha has been praised for bringing her own #MeToo moment to the 2018 Grammy Awards, it was one of the very few moments in the show that furthered the women’s empowerment conversation that began in 2017.

According to a report published by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, only nine percent of Grammy nominees from the past six years were women. That is 81 women out of 899 nominees.

 Lorde pinned a poem by Jenny Holzer to the back of her Grammys dress. Photo: Lester Cohen and Hollywood Reporter.

The Grammy Awards were much less successful in furthering the conversations surrounding the #MeToo and #TimesUp Movements than the Golden Globes. This year, Lorde was the only woman nominated for album of the year. She was not offered a solo performance slot, and instead, she pinned a feminist poem by Jenny Holzer to the back of her dress.

While the Golden Globes premiered the #TimesUp Movement with black gowns and outspoken commentary, the first big Grammy moment for women came with Kesha’s performance of “Praying.”

Janelle Monáe on the Grammys red carpet. Photo: Jamie McCarthy and PopSugar

Janelle Monáe introduced Kesha’s performance with a powerful speech on inequality in the recording industry.

“We come in peace, but we mean business,” said Monáe. “And to those who would dare try to silence us, we offer two words: ‘Time’s up.’ We say, ‘Time’s up’ for pay inequality; time’s up for discrimination, time’s up for harassment of any kind.”

Kesha performs with Bebe Rexha, Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Andra Day and Julia Michaels at the 2018 Grammy Awards. Photo: Jeff Kravitz and TIME.

Following Monáe’s introduction, Kesha performed “Praying” alongside Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Julia Michaels, Bebe Rexha and Andra Day. You can watch the emotional performance here.

Kesha became the recording industry’s face of the #MeToo Movement after her years-long legal battle against her producer, Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, who she sued for sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence and emotional abuse. Though she lost the injunction, Kemosabe Records let Dr. Luke go and continued their contract with Kesha.

Rainbow, Kesha’s third studio album, was released on August 11, 2017. It reflects her recovery from sexual harassment and abuse, her lawsuit and her recent stints in rehab for an eating disorder. Rainbow was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the Grammys and her single “Praying” was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance, but Kesha did not win either award.

“Praying” was the biggest moment by far for women, though there were nods to the movements elsewhere. Voices in Entertainment is a small organization that, though unaffiliated with Time’s Up, asked artists to wear white roses to the awards in a show of solidarity for the movement.

Lady Gaga sports a white rose on the Grammys red carpet. Photo: Christopher Polk and ET.

Artists like Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarkson, Sam Smith and Khalid wore white roses. Meanwhile, Alessia Cara won the Grammy for Best New Artist - the only woman to win a major award. These were the small wins for women in the recording industry.

#MeToo and #TimesUp have been gaining momentum for months, spreading from film into other industries. 2018 must be the year that we see the same kind of reckoning in the music industry that we have seen in film and television. It is time to give credit where credit is due.

Alessia Cara poses with her Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Photo: Don Emmert and Forbes.

You can find a full list of this year’s Grammy Awards winners on their website.



Adventurer. Musician. Feminist. Friend. Bookworm. People person. I'll graduate from USF in May, and after that the possibilities are endless! 
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