"Last night I saw a lot of crazy & wonderful things," wrote the singer, the only female Album of the Year nominee. "I just wanted to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for loving & embracing Melodrama the way you did. My nomination belongs to you. Thank you, also, for believing in female musicians. You set a beautiful precedent!"
Accusations of sexism dogged Sunday's Grammys despite powerful, viral-friendly moments from Janelle Monáe, Kesha and other women who spoke out (and, in a symbolic gesture, wore white roses) in support of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements.
Lorde, who lost Album of the Year to Bruno Mars, wore an excerpt from Jenny Holzer's feminist collection "Inflammatory Essays" on her dress. The "Green Light" singer was reportedly the only nominee from that category not offered a solo performance slot. And of the eight awards presented on television, only one – Alessia Cara for Best New Artist – was awarded to a woman.
After the ceremony, Recording Academy President Neil Portnow faced controversy for his comments about the gender imbalance. He told Variety that "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."
After facing a backlash from artists like Pink and Sheryl Crow, Portnow attempted to clarify his comments in a statement. "Regrettably, I used two words, 'step up,' that, when taken out of context, do not convey my beliefs and the point I was trying to make," he said. "Our industry must recognize that women who dream of careers in music face barriers that men have never faced ... I regret that I wasn't as articulate as I should have been in conveying this thought. I remain committed to doing everything I can to make our music community a better, safer, and more representative place for everyone."