It’s gearing up that 2021 will be the year that female creative geniuses get the recognition they’ve long deserved with a range of women picking up nominations and accolades at America’s most coveted awards including the Golden Globes, Oscars and The Grammys.
Chloé Zhao, who made history last month when she became only the second woman ever to win Best Director at the Golden Globes for ‘Nomadland’ has now become the first woman of Asian descent to be nominated for an Academy Award. Emerald Fennell also secured a nomination for her debut feature ‘Promising Young Woman’.
Moreover, both Zhao’s and Fennell’s films have been nominated for Best Screenplay, as well as being contenders for the Best Picture prize. The Oscars have only ever had five women nominated for Best Director in its entire history.
The last time a woman won Best Director was in 2010, when Katherine Bigelow won for her film ‘Hurt Locker’. For the next 8 years, no female directors were nominated in the category until 2018 when Greta Gerwig was nominated for her feature directorial debut ‘Lady Bird’.
This year’s nominations have recorded 76 nods to women — a first time high.
The music industry is also celebrating female creative geniuses. The 63rd annual Grammy Awards took place Sunday night, and female artists took out all the major awards.
Megan Thee Stallion, who once said she wanted to become “the rap Beyoncé,” took best new artist, and her song “Savage” — which features Beyoncé as a guest — took out best rap performance and best rap song.
“It’s been a hell of a year, but we made it,” Megan Thee Stallion said when accepting her award for best new artist. “I want to say everybody is amazing, every artist that was nominated for this award is so amazing so shout out to y’all.”
Billie Eilish, the 19-year-old who took out four of the major awards at last year’s Grammys took record of the year for ‘Everything I Wanted’, and praised Megan Thee Stallion in her acceptance speech:
“You deserve this,” she said. “This is really embarrassing for me. Megan girl, I was gonna write a speech about how you deserve this but then I was like there’s no way they’re gonna choose me. I was like, it’s hers. You deserve this. You had a year that I think is unstoppable. I want to cry thinking about how much I love you. You’re so beautiful, you’re so talented, you deserve everything in the world. I think about you constantly. I wrote for you.”
Taylor Swift won album of the year for ‘Folklore’, which was recorded in quarantine.
“I want to thank the fans,” Swift said in her speech. “You guys met us in this imaginary world that we created and we can’t tell you how honoured we are forever by this.”
Dua Lipa won best pop vocal album for her second record, “Future Nostalgia,” which the 25-year old said meant “the world” to her.
“It had changed my life in so many ways,” she said. “One thing that I’ve come to realise is how much happiness is so important. I’m so grateful and so honoured.”
Beyoncé won four awards, bringing her total to 28 Grammys — more than any other woman in the award’s 61-year history. After taking out Best R&B performance for her song ‘Black Parade’, Beyoncé said: “As an artist I believe it’s my job, and all of our jobs, to reflect the times, and it’s been such a difficult time.”
Another record was set this year; by Beyoncé’s 9-year-old daughter Blue Ivy Carter, who took home a Grammy with her mother and WizKid for best music video for “Brown Skin Girl”.
Song of the year went to H.E.R. for her song “I Can’t Breathe,” a protest song for Black Lives Matter, with lyrics that included – “Stripped of bloodlines, whipped and confined / This is the American pride.”
“We wrote this song over FaceTime,” H.E.R. said, accepting the award, “I didn’t imagine that my fear and that my pain would turn into impact, and that it would possibly turn into change. I think that this is what this is all about. That’s why I do this. Why I write music.”
“Remember, we are the change that we wish to see,” she concluded. “That fight that we had in the summer of 2020; keep that same energy.”
Miranda Lambert took out best country album, for “Wildcard”, a category where all the nominees were women.
Fiona Apple took out best rock performance for “Shameika” and Best alternative album for “Fetch the Bolt Cutters.” Joanie Leeds won Best Children’s Music Album for “All the Ladies,” an album which pays tribute to famous women and made mostly with female collaborators.
“We may be a small genre,” Leeds said, “but we are really powerful. Let’s continue to be the change that we want to see.”