For the first time in history, every nominated artist in the Grammy’s Best Rock Performance category is a woman. Fiona Apple, Phoebe Bridges, Haim, Brittany Howard and Big Thief (fronted by Adrienne Lenker) will battle it out in the 63rd Grammy Awards next January for the coveted award.
Fiona Apple has been nominated for ‘Shameika’, Phoebe Bridgers for ‘Kyoto’, three-piece rock sister-trio Haim for their song ‘The Steps’, Brittany Howard for ‘Stay High’, Grace Potter for ‘Daylight’, and Big Thief for ‘Not’.
It’s a huge moment in the award’s history since the category has largely been male-dominated. The last nine winners of the category have been men or male-lead groups, including Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Jack White and Foo Fighters.
Best Country Album category is also seeing a first: all five of the nominations were taken out by female solo artists or bands with women as primary lead singers. Ingrid Andress is nominated for ‘Lady Like’, Brandy Clark for ‘Your Life Is A Record’, Miranda Lambert for ‘Wildcard’, Little Big Town (headed by Karen Fairchild) for ‘Nightfall’ and Ashley McBryde for ‘Never Will’. Country music seems to be more inclusive than rock for women; the last two winners were taken out by female artists; Tanya Tucker for ‘While I’m Livin’ and Kacey Musgraves for ‘Golden Hour’.
The Song of the Year award is also female dominated this time round, including Beyoncé’s ‘Black Parade’, Dua Lipa’s ‘Don’t Start Now’, Taylor Swift’s ‘Cardigan ‘and Billie Eilish’s ‘Everything I Wanted’. Due Lipa, Haim and Taylor Swift are also competing for Album of the Year alongside Coldplay, Post Malone, Jhené Aiko and Jacob Collier.
Phoebe Bridges, Brittany Howard and Big Thief have also been nominated in the Best Rock Song category for the same songs. Fiona Apple is included in this category for her song, ‘Shameika’ – a hectic piano ballad inspired by her childhood experiences of being bullied.
Apple is also nominated for Best Alternative Music Album for ‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters’, as is Phoebe Bridges for ‘Punisher’ and Brittany Howard for ‘Jaime’. With her nine nominations, Beyoncé has become the most-nominated female artist ever. She is on track to make history with the highest number of Grammy wins of all time — currently, she has 21.
There are 83 award categories in total at the Grammys, spanning across genres and groups including film music, classical music, jazz and dance.
Australian female nominees?
Next year’s Grammy Awards will sadly not feature any female Aussie artists. Tame Impala and Flume are the only Australians nominated. ‘The Slow Rush’, Tame Impala’s fourth album (and 2020 ARIA’s Album of the Year) is up for Best Alternative Music Album, and the single ‘Lost in Yesterday’ is up for Best Rock Song.
Harley Streten (aka Flume) is hoping to secure his second Grammy, after winning Best Dance/Electronic Album in 2016 for ‘Skin’. This time, he’s nominated for Best Dance Recording for The Difference,’ featuring American artist Toro Y Moi.
In the Award’s 61 year history, only four Australian women have won — Olivia Newton-John won Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1973 for ‘Let me Be there,’. A year later, she took out Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “I honestly love you”. In 1982, she won Video of the Year for ‘Physical’.
Helen Reddy won Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1972 for ‘I am Woman’. Kylie Minogue won Best Dance Recording in 2003 for ‘Come into my world’. Joan Sutherland took out Best Classical Vocal Soloist Performance and Best Classical Performance – Vocal Soloist (With or Without Orchestra) in 1981.
The Grammys will take place next year on January 31.