Saturday 20 October 2018

It's not all white on the night

Women were the biggest losers at the Grammy Awards, writes Meadhbh McGrath

Lady Gaga. Photo: Getty Images
Lady Gaga. Photo: Getty Images

The music world looked set to be on the brink of its own #MeToo movement ahead of the Grammys, but women turned out to be the real losers at the annual awards ceremony. We count down the most-talked-about moments from music's biggest night.

Red carpet roses

Rita Ora. Photo: Getty Images
Rita Ora. Photo: Getty Images

Taking cues from Hollywood's Time's Up campaign, a group known as Voices in Entertainment urged guests to wear a white rose as a symbol of "hope, peace, sympathy and resistance". Unlike the Golden Globes' black dress protest, however, the roses were harder to spot, with stars like Miley Cyrus using them as goofy red carpet props. Lady Gaga, in floor-sweeping Armani Privé, and Rita Ora, wearing Ralph & Russo, impressed with dramatic couture looks and spoke out in support of the movement.

Clinton makes a fiery cameo

Host James Corden enlisted the likes of Cher and Snoop Dogg to "audition" for the audiobook of Michael Wolff's Fire And Fury - a lukewarm bit enlivened by the appearance of Hillary Clinton. The segment was met by cheers, but Donald Trump Jr and ambassador Nikki Haley were quick to voice their displeasure. Haley tweeted: "Some of us love music without the politics thrown in it."

Blue Ivy commands attention

Bono. Photo: Getty Images
Bono. Photo: Getty Images

Beyonce and Jay Z's daughter Blue Ivy may be only six years old, but it seems she's already calling the shots in the Knowles-Carter house: footage of Blue scolding her parents for clapping during a speech immediately went viral, which just goes to show even Beyonce and Jay Z aren't immune from embarrassing their kids.

Political performances

U2 performed in front of the Statue of Liberty, during which Bono shouted: "Blessed are the s***hole countries, for they gave us the American dream." The evening reached an emotional peak with Kesha's rendition of 'Praying', about the pain she suffered at the hands of her alleged abuser, producer Dr Luke. Accompanied by Cyndi Lauper and a choir, it was a stirring performance, with the full ensemble dressed in white. R&B star Janelle Monae introduced them by saying: "We come in peace but we mean business. To those who would dare try to silence us, we offer two words: Time's Up." This was the first mention of the movement - two hours into the ceremony.

#MeWho?

Kesha. Photo: Getty Images
Kesha. Photo: Getty Images

Bruno Mars was the big winner, while just one of the nine main prizes went to a woman - Alessia Cara, for best new artist. It was a disappointing, if unsurprising, result: according to the New York Times, of the 899 people nominated over the last six Grammys, only 9pc were women. Neil Portnow, President of the Recording Academy, didn't help matters when he urged female artists to "step up" in order to win more. The music industry could have its #MeToo moment, but there's still a long way to go.

Bruno Mars. Photo: Getty Images
Bruno Mars. Photo: Getty Images
Beyonce with Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy. Photo: Getty Images
Beyonce with Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy. Photo: Getty Images

Irish Independent

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