Getty ImagesNeilson Barnard
Dua Lipa is now a two-time Grammy award winning singer. After scoring the 2019 Grammy award for Best Dance Recording for her and Silk City’s “Electricity,” the pop star also took home the Grammy for Best New Artist and used her acceptance speech to slyly call out Neil Portnow, president of The Recording Academy.
When accepting the award, Lipa said, “I just wanted to say how honored I am to be nominated alongside so many incredible female artists this year, because I guess this year we really stepped up!”
Lipa was referring to a controversial comment Portnow made about last year’s Grammy Awards telecast—during which only one woman, Alessia Cara, received a solo award. He stated that women needed to step up if they wanted to be recognized at the ceremony. “Women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level… [They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome.”
Portnow’s “step up” comment received a lot of backlash from within the music industry and resulted in a petition for his removal as The Recording Academy’s president. The petition received over 13,500 signatures.
After his comments caught fire, Portnow issued an official apology addressing his comments. “I regret that I wasn’t as articulate as I should have been in conveying this thought,” he said. “I remain committed to doing everything I can to make our music community a better, safer, and more representative place for everyone.” Three months after the controversy, Portnow announced that he will step down from his position, effective in July 2019.