The Grammy Awards were tough on female artists in several ways — there was a small number of female nominees (and consequently winners), and Lorde, the only female artist nominated for Best New Album, was also the only artist in that category who wasn’t offered a solo performance during the show, sources tell Variety.
Making matters worse, immediately after the show, when Grammy chief Neil Portnow was asked by Variety what women artists need to do to push things forward, he said, ““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, who 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, creating opportunities for all people who want to be creative and paying it forward and creating that next generation of artists.”
And when asked if it was a mistake to leave Lorde out of the show, executive producer Ken Ehrlich said: “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.”
This, despite the fact that the show had a strong #MeToo theme, both overall and via Kesha’s performance of “Praying” and Janelle Monae’s introducing speech.
Lorde apparently had a response on Twitter Monday afternoon, writing in all-caps “IF YOU’RE DEBATING WHETHER OR NOT I CAN MURDER A STAGE… COME SEE IT FOR URSELF.” — and then providing a link to the dates for her forthcoming tour, which begins in Milwaukee on March 1 and wraps June 2 at the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona.
While she did not perform on the Grammys, Lorde performed twice in New York during Grammy Week, playing a four-song set with Jack Antonoff at his Ally Coalition benefit, and also playing a powerful version of Stevie Nicks’ “Silver Springs” at the MusiCares Fleetwood Mac tribute at Radio City Music Hall.