Stand up: Feminine voices take middle stage at Grammys


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NEW YORK (AP) — After being almost muted at this 12 months’s ceremony, the 2019 Grammys are shaping as much as be the 12 months of the girl, with highly effective feminine voices representing the bulk in two of the highest classes.

Kacey Musgraves, H.E.R. and Janelle Monae, performers who play devices, write or co-write all of their songs and are additionally listed as producers on their initiatives, earned nominations for the coveted album of the 12 months.

They’re joined by singer-songwriter-instrumentalist Brandi Carlile, whose current album is critically acclaimed and scored nominations within the large three classes, and Cardi B — a former stripper, social media darling and actuality star who has change into a popular culture sensation now competing for each album and report of the 12 months.

Nominees for album of the 12 months on the 2018 Grammys solely included one lady — Lorde — and she or he was not given a performing slot on the present. The one lady to win a solo award throughout the televised broadcast was greatest new artist winner Alessia Cara. However this 12 months the class has been expanded from 5 to eight contenders, and 5 are highly effective feminine acts.

“I like being within the firm of genius girls and I feel that each lady that’s nominated has contributed a lot glorious work and heartfelt work and truthful work this 12 months, and it’s simply deserving,” Monae stated in an interview with The Related Press after Friday’s nominations had been introduced.

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Six of the eight greatest new artist nominees are girls, together with H.E.R.

Monae gave a robust speech on the 2018 Grammys forward of Kesha’s emotional and putting efficiency celebrating sisterhood and girls’s rights. Monae stated again then she hoped to see the upcoming Grammys make a change.

“That is what I envisioned. That is what I imagined. I imagined us having a stronger presence this 12 months,” she stated. “I’m so happy with them and I can’t wait to see them on the Grammys and have fun them and allow them to know that they’ve my assist, win or lose, we’re stronger collectively and it’s unimaginable to see girls who’re so answerable for their narrative.”

“Soiled Laptop,” Monae’s fourth full-length album, options the singer and guitarist working behind-the-scenes to craft the proper songs and magnificence: “I did produce and engineer a whole lot of this report. I had a perspective and a imaginative and prescient that solely I may sit down and execute.”

Different girls nominated this 12 months have a number of roles on their very own albums. Musgraves, additionally a guitarist, co-produced her whole album, “Golden Hour,” which earned 4 nominations, together with greatest nation album, greatest nation solo efficiency (“Butterflies”) and greatest nation track (“House Cowboy”).

“I knew I wished to do one thing completely different than what I had been doing. I used to be craving the time to discover and simply discover that inventive middle once more. Like after I first moved to Nashville and I simply wrote each day for years and stumbled throughout songs that basically meant one thing to me,” Musgraves, who labored on the album for a 12 months and a half, instructed the AP on Friday. “I really feel like I realized loads about myself in making this report and I really feel like I bought the guts of my very own matter extra so than I ever have.”

This 12 months’s nominees mark a departure from the Grammys held earlier this 12 months, the place Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow was criticized when he stated girls have to “step up” when requested concerning the lack of ladies within the high classes. He later acknowledged that it was a “poor alternative of phrases,” and it pressured the academy to launch a brand new process drive centered on inclusion and variety.

Kendrick Lamar and Drake are the highest Grammy contenders for the 2019 present, incomes eight and 7 nominations apiece, respectively. They each are nominated within the album, report and track of the 12 months classes.

However they’re in competitors with some top-notch feminine acts, together with Girl Gaga, SZA, Maren Morris, Ella Mai and Carlile, nominees in both track or report of the 12 months, or in each.

The singer H.E.R., who earned 5 nominations, is the one greatest new artist contender to obtain an album of the 12 months nomination. In greatest new artist, she’s certainly one of six girls nominated for the prize, together with Bebe Rexha, Dua Lipa, Margo Worth, Chloe x Halle and Jorja Smith.

H.E.R. not solely co-wrote and co-produced every track on her self-titled album, she additionally performs guitar and piano.

“That’s inspirational for different younger girls. Like, ‘You are able to do it. You generally is a producer. You possibly can play an instrument,’” she stated on Friday. “I needed to work twice as arduous. I needed to earn my respect as a musician rising up as a bit woman since you don’t anticipate a bit black woman to select up the electrical guitar. So, to be in that place the place I can inform different little ladies, ‘You are able to do this too’ — it’s particular.”

Monae, who scored a greatest music video nomination for “PYNK” — which she shares with director Emma Westenberg and producer Whitney Jackson — remembers filming the video for the track celebrating womanhood.

“There have been so many ladies on set that day and it was magical. We had been uplifting one another and telling one another how a lot we liked one another and simply celebrating all that we’re,” she stated. “I’ll always remember that.”



The Related Press contributed to this report.

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