Though Lipa’s talents have been recognized by awards shows around the world in the past few years, she says acknowledgement from the Recording Academy is the music industry’s top honor. “It’s the biggest nomination you could get,” she says. “So many artists I’ve looked up to my whole life have been nominated, it’s such a thrill to me. And being from Kosovo and seeing how much it means to people back home is crazy. It means a lot to me as well. I feel like I’m representing myself but also the U.K. and Kosovo too. It’s a very proud moment for me.”
Lipa -- who attended and presented at Billboard’s Women in Music ceremony the previous night -- said that her nomination feels extra special following outcry over the lack of women winners at the 2018 Grammys, which inspired the #GrammysSoMale hashtag. (In response to the criticism, outgoing Recording Academy president/ceo Neil Portnow said that women should “step up” if they wanted to see themselves better represented.)
“I feel like the industry has been dominated by men for such a long time,” she says. “To wake up and be nominated in the best new artist category, where every artist except for two [Luke Combs and Greta Van Fleet] is a woman, that’s a good feeling. I’m so proud of all the girls, because I do feel like we need to work a bit harder, and that’s not taking the merits away from any male artist -- I know how demanding this job can be. I just feel really grateful to be nominated alongside so many talented women I admire, and some I even call my friends.”
Lipa can’t exactly kick back at the moment -- she’s got a full day of work ahead of her, including meetings and a flight to catch. But she did find some time to celebrate this morning: “I started with champagne for breakfast,” the singer says with a laugh. “It’s more about enjoying the feeling rather than doing something to celebrate. All I want to do is do my job to the best of my ability. I’m so grateful for this opportunity, and I want to make sure people feel like they made the right choice for nominating me for these categories."