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Grammys So Male? ‘Women Need to Step Up,’ Says Recording Academy President

"Hopefully we'll see Taylor Swift next year," said show producer Ken Ehrlich.

The only woman presented a solo Grammy during the awards telecast on Sunday night? Alessia Cara, who took home best new artist. Recording Academy president Neil Portnow was asked by Variety about #GrammysSoMale and had this to say:

“It has to begin with… women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level… [They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome. I don’t have personal experience of those kinds of brick walls that you face but I think it’s upon us — us as an industry — to make the welcome mat very obvious, breeding opportunities for all people who want to be creative and paying it forward and creating that next generation of artists.”

Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich deflected when asked the same question. “It’s not for me to talk about,” he said. “I produce the TV show.” As for whether it was a mistake to not give Album of the Year nominee Lorde an onstage moment, Ehrlich answered: “I don’t know if it was a mistake. These shows are a matter of choices. We have a box and it gets full. She had a great album. There’s no way we can really deal with everybody.”

However, Lisa Loeb, Reba McEntire, Aimee Mann, and Carrie Fisher were among the female winners during the pre-telecast ceremony. Rihanna shared a win with Kendrick Lamar for best rap/sung performance for the song “Loyalty.”

Chris Stapleton, who won best country album, was more diplomatic: “It’s always a hard thing to see things not go somebody’s way,” he said. “And equality is something we have to address on a lot of levels. I can’t really speak to how voters voted and what happened there, but there is a lot of great music being made by a lot of great women. That is the only thing I know and the awards don’t diminsh the art in any way.”

One has to wonder if the attendance of Taylor Swift would have made a difference. Said Ehrlich: “It wasn’t her year. She was kind of off cycle. Hopefully we’ll see her next year.”

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