Female Domination at the 2023 GRAMMY Awards

One of our writers looks at the domination of female artists at the GRAMMY's...

Jess Mooney
19th February 2024
Credit: Pixabay
This year’s award ceremony certainly set itself apart from those we watched just a few years ago. As recently as 2017 men swept the awards as well as the nominations and almost no women won in the top categories. The Academy’s then chairman, Neil Portnow, made a terrible and revealing choice of words in shifting the blame to the female artists themselves, suggesting they need to “step it up” in order to make themselves known.

This year’s winners distinctly separate the 2023 season from the ones before without needing to employ any desperate pleading from its female winners. Taylor Swift’s commercial domination of 2023 was inescapable, not that we would want to escape it, along with the phenomena that was her Era’s tour, she was streamed 26 billion times on Spotify last year. Along with her six nominations, she took home victories with her album ‘Midnights’ securing both Album of the Year and Pop Vocal Album. During her speech, she announced the name of her next album ‘The Tortured Poets Department’, releasing April 19th, relieved to finally have shared the secret she had been keeping for the past two years.

Taylor Swift’s commercial domination of 2023 was inescapable

Miley Cyrus finally secured her first GRAMMY, winning Song of the Year with 2023s biggest song, ‘Flowers’ and Billie Eilish expectantly found success with her resonating and unifying hit from the Barbie movie ‘What was I made for’ taking home Best Song as well as Song written for Visual Media. It is notable, as highlighted in Jay-Z’s chiding of the Academy, that a Black woman hasn’t won album of the year this century and a general consensus that the Academy are not doing enough to credit black Artists. Arguably SZA deserved it for the triumphantly eclectic album SOS which reached US No 1, though she still went home with three awards.

Whilst the achievements of the likes of SZA, Taylor Swift or Billie Eilish were important, it would have been something to note if they didn’t take home any awards, that which sets this year’s ceremony apart is the sheer breadth of female artists who took home awards in typically male dominated and impenetrable categories. Boygenius and Paramore won in the traditionally male-dominated rock and alternative categories whilst Wet Leg unexpectantly took home remix of the year, a category that consistently lends itself to male winners. Women also triumphed in the fields of R&B (Coco Jones), African Music (Tyla) and Country (Lainey Wilson).

Despite the success of these women and Swift making history, fellow nominees Lana Del Rey and past GRAMMY Winner Olivia Rodrigo went home empty handed despite them both receiving over four nominations apiece. Fans of Del Rey have suggested for some years that the Academy need to take accountability for their repeated snubbing of her despite consistent nominations and both fans and critics have discussed the shock result over her loss of song of the year despite being nominated for the track ‘A&W’ and best album for ‘Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd’ which was revered for its standout place amongst her catalogue. Similarly, though she has found success at the awards before, fans find themselves shocked that Rodrigo found no success in her recent album ‘Guts’ or hit single ‘Vampire’ which topped the charts in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zeeland, the United Kingdom, and the US.

Despite the underlying controversy’s, the 2023 GRAMMY’s certainly reflect the consensus of the year, that it was one where women were finally credited with awards that reflect their hard work, determination, and importance within the music industry. 

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