Latin Music Week

Halsey Calls Recording Academy CEO's 'Step Up' Comments 'Absurd' in Grammy Twitter Rant

Despite the singer's frustration, she defended the peer-based voting process.

Halsey had a lot of thoughts about Sunday night's 60th annual Grammy Awards. In a series of tweets early Tuesday morning (Jan. 30) the "Bad at Love" singer appeared to both strongly take issue with Recording Academy CEO/President Neil Portnow's controversial "step up" comments (regarding his thoughts on how women can obtain more representation in the music business), while defending the way in which the Grammy nomination process has traditionally worked. 

"I strongly back the disagreement with the way that the Academy approaches things but please remember the Grammys are voted by a 'jury of peers' which means other artists and producers and writer select the nominees," Halsey wrote. 

That said, the singer was not having it when it came to Portnow's comment, which also drew serious fire from P!nk and Charli XCX. "Neil's comment was absurd. Female artists came HARD in 2017," she added, again noting that the nominees were selected by a group of peers, which means that "it's a conversation about the standards of which the ENTIRE INDUSTRY expects women to uphold."


​Portnow walked back his comments on Tuesday morning, saying that they were taken out of context. "Last night, I was asked a question about the lack of female artist representation in certain categories of this year's Grammy Awards. 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, referring to a story in Variety on Monday (Jan. 29) in which he was quoted saying: "I think it has to begin with women who have the creativity in their hearts and their souls who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, who want to be producers, who want to be part of the industry on an executive level to step up."

Whatever way the Grammy nominations and awards are actually decided, Halsey was adamant that it was "bullshit" that only one woman was handed a golden gramophone during Sunday night's three and a half-hour telecast, referring to Alessia Cara's win for Best New Artist.

And, before anyone could make it seem like her was somehow a slam against Cara, Halsey made it clear that she has nothing but love and respect for the "Stay" singer, who she called "an incredibly talented hardworking young woman."

Halsey's stance got a big round of applause from Fifth Harmony's Lauren Jauregui and Marina and the Diamonds.

2018 Grammy Awards