Before the Grammys cut off Dua Lipa’s mic while she was giving her acceptance speech for best new artist on Sunday evening, the “Swan Song” singer managed to slip in a subtle dig at Recording Academy president Neil Portnow, who made a sexist remark about female musicians in 2018.
Last year’s batch of Grammys nominees and winners were made up of almost entirely men, effectively shutting out deserving female artists from the award show. When questioned about the backlash, Portnow told reporters female musicians need to “step up” to receive better representation in the industry, a comment which was naturally met with even more criticism. In addition to a group of female executives calling for his resignation, stars like Pink slammed Portnow’s statement, saying, “Women in music don’t need to ‘step up’ — women have been stepping since the beginning of time.”
Now Lipa, who burst onto the music scene with hits like “New Rules” and “IDGAF,” has joined the chorus of female musicians who want to make sure Portnow knows just how offensive his original comment was to all the hard-working women in the music industry. The 23-year-old British singer began her speech by noting how honored she is “to be nominated alongside so many incredible female artists this year.” Then she added, “I guess this year we really stepped up,” to loud applause and cheers from the audience. Her speech only got more inspirational from there.
“I want to say a really big thank you to the fans, who have allowed me to be the best version of myself,” she said, before later touching on her own climb to the top. “For anyone who hasn’t realized how special they are to have a different story or background, just know that no matter where you’re from, never let that get in the way of your dreams.”
Watch her speech in full ahead, as well as seeing some stunning photos from her night at the Grammys.