Dua Lipa Worked a Clapback Into Her Grammys Acceptance Speech

Rachel E. Greenspan

Most stars thank the Recording Academy during a Grammys acceptance speech. But Dua Lipa, who won for Best New Artist, used her moment to throw shade instead.

At the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, the “New Rules” singer responded to Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow’s message about how female artists needed to “step up.” Portnow’s comments, part of an interview with Variety, came after the 2018 Grammys encountered backlash for its dearth of awards for female artists. Alessia Cara’s win for Best New Artist made her the only female winner in a major category that year—and only six women were nominated across those categories.

“I guess this year we’ve really stepped up,” Dua Lipa said after winning her award on Sunday night, before her speech was cut off early. Six of the eight nominees for Best New Artist were female acts.

Later in the broadcast, Portnow, who is retiring this year, celebrated the talent and importance of “female voices of our times.”

Lipa and Kacey Musgraves, who won Album of the Year for “Golden Hour,” brought the number of female artists taking home the top categories to two. Cardi B also made history for women on Sunday, becoming the first female solo rap artist to win Best Rap Album.

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