The Fashion, the Performances, the Glamour and Oh, Yeah … the Grammy's 2019 host Alicia Keys

In case you haven't heard the buzz, this year's 2019 Grammys was a monumental moment of female empowerment, groundbreaking inclusivity, and representation of female artists. From the 31 women who actually won Grammys (looking at you Lady Gaga) to the Grammy's female host: Alicia Keys, everything about this year's ceremony screamed Girl Boss power. Electing Keys as the Grammy host was history-making decision this year, not only because the Grammy's took place during Black History Month, but she was actually the first female host since 2005, when Queen Latifah was the master of ceremonies. That is 14 years, people! 2005 might still feel like it was just a couple years ago, but it was well over a decade. What you might not know is that the awards show went host-less until 2011. LL Cool J then became the awards’ recurring host from 2012-2016. James Corden hosted both the 2017 and 2018 Grammys and now Keys  stepped up to the plate. And truly, we couldn’t have been any happier.

There have been a total of 61 grammys, historically not very diverse in both hosts and nominees, but this year everything was different, Keys as the Grammy host is an especially fitting choice considering the nominees were largely female, Keys stated on the night of the Grammys, "I'm so excited to be the master of ceremonies on the biggest night in music and celebrate the creativity, power and, magic. I'm especially excited for all the incredible women nominated this year!" And Keys was right this year's Grammys, there were five women of the eight nominees for album of the year: rapper Cardi B (Invasion of Privacy), folk-rock singer Brandi Carlile (By the Way, I forgive You), R&B singer H.E.R. (H.E.R.), genre-fluid Janelle Monáe (Dirty Computer) and country singer Kacey Musgraves (Golden Hour).

The opening to the Grammys was literally everything, Alicia Keys took us to "Club Keys" and viewers (and myself) seem open to becoming regulars. Keys, tackled the job of “host” with her signature super-chill approach that brought a calming energy, class and cool to music's biggest night. Keys also highlighted the ethnic diversity, female empowermen during her monologue, and got a little help from my queen Michelle Obama, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga who took home 3 Grammy awards: best pop solo performance for "Joanne," and best song written for visual media and best pop duo performance for "Shallow."  These strong, diverse, independent women talked about the importance of music and celebrating "the greatness in each other" setting the mood for the Grammys. Keys also led the night with her Black Woman Magic, when the 15-time Grammy winner used her musical prowess to dazzle the audience with a performance packed with major hits. Flanked by two pianos, Keys performed everything from Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)" to Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly With His Song" to Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody." At one point during her medley, Keys played on both pianos at the same time!

Although many felt this year's show was a step in the right direction, it's evident that there is still a dire need for an increase in female representation and diversity in the industry. A study of females in the music industry, "Inclusion in the Recording Studio?” by Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, released last week, found that females accounted for 10.4 percent of Grammy nominees from 2013-2019 while 89.6 percent were male. This data was drawn from the 1,064 people nominated in 5 categories from 2013 to 2019. Women of color accounted for 36.9% of nominations during the time span. In the years to come,  let us hope that diversity, inclusivity, female empowerment will be "Keys" (see what I did there) in all areas, where there is a lack of representation and that we can all  follow Alicia Keys example of embracing self love, loving and respecting others, and appreciation of the epitome of music.

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