10 Ways To Support Women Musicians & Creators Year-Round
Spanish artist Ana Fabiola López Rodríguez performs with her band Annie B Sweet at the Noches del Botánico music festival in Madrid, Spain.

Photo: Miguel Pereira/Getty Contributor


10 Ways To Support Women Musicians & Creators Year-Round

March may be Women’s History Month, but you can support female music professionals and creatives year-round. From posting jobs on female-centric platforms, to buying from women-owned record labels, here are 10 impactful ways to support women in music.

GRAMMYs/Mar 1, 2022 - 08:30 pm

Gender inequality in the music industry has remained a constant issue. Countless media outlets, including Pitchfork and Complex, have brought attention to the gender disparity n festival lineups with quantifiable breakdowns while organizations such as Keychange and Book More Women toil to foster change. A major factor in this industry-wide imbalance is a lack of gender equity in positions of power, according to a 2021 study on "Inclusion in the Music Business."     

The struggle for women to hold space in any part of the male-dominated music industry — be it as an industry professional or a creative — is very real and ongoing. A study from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Institute found that women comprised 21.6 percent of all artists on the Billboard Hot 100 Year-End Charts between 2012 and 2020, and accounted for just 20.2 percent of artists on the 2020 chart. The latter percentage, according to the institution, incorrectly demonstrates that "there has been no meaningful and sustained increase in the percentage of women artists in nearly a decade."    

Before female artists can make it to playlists and festival stages, there needs to be women behind the scenes putting them there. Women need to be in recording studios, become event producers, agents, managers, talent bookers and music executives. In order for that to happen, there needs to be guidance and support for women entering the music industry.    

Here are a few ways fans and music industry workers can help make that happen.   

Make the recording environment a safe space 

Stories of sexual harassment in recording studio have been around for so long, they are nearly cliché. Unfortunately, instances of harassment and assault for both for artists and for the small percentage of women who work in an audio engineering environment  continue to occur. 

Creating safe spaces provides women with "a fair chance, more opportunities, " said engineer Suzy Shinn. Shinn has worked on GRAMMY-nominated albums including Weezer’s Pacific Daydream and produced Van Weezer.  

Yet producer and songwriter Jake Sinclair was the first person to give Shinn a safe and stable studio in which to work and learn. "Before [Sinclair], I was running around town, doing every job I could get, dealing with unfamiliar situations that were different every day. [Sinclair] really gave me space to grow, " Shinn told "When I get into that room, I do insane work and make sure I can blow it out of the water."  

Get involved with organizations that support women in audio

The percentage of women in the audio space is growing, albeit incrementally. A number of organizations led by long-time, well-respected professionals are encouraging women to enter these careers and support them when they do. Among these are SoundGirls, Women’s Audio Mission, We Are Moving the Needle and Femme House

Each one of these organizations has a "donate" button or merchandise, the proceeds of which go toward supporting their causes. You can go one step further and set up a scholarship fund (also a handy tax write-off) for women pursuing music education, or help fund existing scholarships offered by We Are Moving the Needle and Femme House. 

Hire women and provide support once they’re on board

Have a position you need filled or a project you need done? Post it with, "a global community of women, gender minorities and allies in the music industry," or at Women Connect, who are "creating safer, inclusive spaces and equal opportunities for women, gender fluid and non-conforming people."  

If you’re looking for a job in the industry, tune into MeloCompasspodcast, and tap into Producers Program, "an initiative to support female-identifying music producers and help right the gender imbalance in their field." 

Providing continual support to music professionals who are currently working is also important. hosts mentorship programs where female professionals can uplift each other.    

Listen to women-created and women-focused music podcasts 

There are many informative women- and music industry-centric podcasts which allow listeners to gain insight into the position of women in the music industry. These podcasts often feature professionals and musicians who speak about their experience and offer advice.

Some excellent options are the radio show/podcast (and also zine), "Women in Sound," run by audio engineer Madeleine Campbell; "We Are the Unheard"; and the award-winning The Last Bohemians, which profiles women in arts and culture.  

Provide basic amenities in venue dressing rooms 

If you book women at a venue, they should have a private place to get dressed with adequate lighting and a mirror.  

2022 Brit Award-nominated artist Rebecca Taylor (professionally known as Self Esteem) breaks it down quite simply: "Women, like all musicians, have to start small at 300-400-capacity venues," Taylor tells "My band is six women and the space in these venues isn't for a woman. There isn’t anywhere to change. If there's a mirror it's covered in stickers. There is no light. The dressing room is for drinking and being a dude.   

"That's where it starts, at the grassroots. The absolute smallest thing you can do, which is play a gig, the venue is not expecting women to be there. The knock-on from that has a huge effect. That’s why women are second all the time in music."  

Bring up women bookers, promoters and festival organizers

There are not many women working as talent bookers, concert/event promoters and even less working as festival producers/organizers — at least independently.  

Lauren Kashuk, founder and creative director of Ideaison, an experiential event production and marketing company, noted that female-fronted businesses are significantly less financially supported. "Events are expensive. You have to have the capital from somewhere, especially the first few years when they’re not profitable," she says. "For so long, the decision-makers have been men, and that ties in with financial implications."  

Back-of-house positions such as Kashuk’s are often neglected in conversations about gender, she added. "Women behind the scenes need to have equal representation. Speak our names in rooms. If you sit at a table where there is no diversity, you are not going to represent the diverse population of your event and that’s going to impact every aspect of it. 

"Empower and bring people that are different than you. We need confident men in positions of power to share that table and not be intimidated by women who are ambitious," Kashuk tells "The way we’re going to change the industry is together, with allies."  

Fill rooms and festival stages — including virtual events — where women perform

When promoters see sparse attendance for a woman performer, it is unlikely they will book her again. So showing up goes a long way. Make an effort to time your festival movements so you are in the vicinity of the stage with the rare female artist.   

Notes Kashuk, "it’s easy to go to the glamorous large festival. You have to make a conscious effort to go to the smaller events." This support includes buying tickets and sharing information about the performance on social media. 

Even tuning into a virtual festival, like SiriusXM’s EMPOWERED, led by the platform’s Rida Naser, makes a difference. After the festival, Naser said the ultimately wanted to have an EMPOWERED stage at a festival. This is an attainable goal, but only if Naser has (among many other things) the audience numbers to take to festival producers.   

Support women-owned record labels 

Women have great taste in music. They also are great at business. This makes women-owned record labels a double threat, and purchasing from them doubles down on a commitment to support women. Buying directly from a record label (or indie distributor or record store) allows label owners and artists to continue creating and releasing. 

There are many women-owned labels to choose from, including Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory Records, Tokimonsta’s Young Art Records and the femme queer collective Surround’s Dusk Recordings. While you’re in a buying mood, grab some merchandise, post a photo with it and tag everyone involved. 

Interact on social media — the right way

Follow, interact, comment, retweet, share. These are givens for any creative you want to support. But if a female artist has a non-algorithm platform you can connect with, such as Discord, engage there to create a direct line between artist and audience.   

"I would love it if people used my songs in Instagram Reels and TikTok," independent artist TRISHES told "Everyone wants to know if one of your songs is blowing up on TikTok. Using my music gives it a little bit more of a shot to catch on to a trending thing. Plus, a lot of trending sounds are made by Black creators, but not credited to Black creators. This way you’re not just using it, but also crediting it."   

Focus should be shifted from physically objectifying women, TRISHES notes. Adds Self Esteem, "never comment one way or another on what we look like. I like shoes. I like fashion, but I don’t want you to tell me either way what you think about how I look, that would be helpful."  

Do more than stream 

According to Chartmasters, only two of top 10 most streamed artists on Spotify are women: Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift. The same source shows only two more in the top 20: Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa. 

This extreme imbalance has broad ripple effects that leads to more gender inequity. "The people that book festivals, make playlists, those are the ones impeding women because they’re the ones that make those lists 80 percent men," TRISHES explains.  

Naturally, you should follow women artists whose music you enjoy on streaming platforms and YouTube, but also add them to your playlists and share those. Since the individuals at these platforms are not necessarily picking women to populate playlists, any playlist women show up on helps to bring attention to their music.  

9 Ways To Support Black Musicians & Creators Year-Round

Beyoncé To Alison Krauss: 9 Times Women Made GRAMMY History


Beyoncé To Alison Krauss: 9 Times Women Made GRAMMY History

Celebrate Women's History month with Ella Fitzgerald's firsts, Alison Krauss and Beyoncé's mosts, and more history-making women at the GRAMMYs

GRAMMYs/May 15, 2017 - 01:36 pm

Updated May 5, 2021.

To highlight Women's History Month this March, we dug into our archives all the way back to the GRAMMY Awards' beginnings in 1958 to acknowledge the women who have made GRAMMY — and music — history. From the first women to ever win a GRAMMY to the top GRAMMY-winning woman, first female GRAMMY performers and the first female GRAMMY host, take a look at nine examples of how women blazed trails through the lens of the GRAMMYs.

Ella Fitzgerald: The first woman to win multiple GRAMMYs

The 1st GRAMMY Awards took place in 1958, and women were among the first crop of recipients. The first female multiple GRAMMY winner was jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, who took home two statues: Best Vocal Performance, Female and Best Jazz Performance, Individual. The roster of first-time female GRAMMY winners also included Keely Smith, Salli Terry, Barbara Cook, Pert Kelton, Helen Raymond, and Renata Tebaldi.

Who were the first women to win GRAMMYs in the General Field?

The General Field categories — Record, Song and Album Of The Year and Best New Artist — are among some of the most coveted awards in music. Astrud Gilberto became the first woman to win Record Of The Year when she won with Stan Getz for "The Girl From Ipanema" for 1964. The first Song Of The Year female win went to Carole King for "You've Got A Friend" for 1971. The first female Best New Artist was country singer/songwriter Bobbie Gentry. And the first female winner for Album Of The Year went to Judy Garland for 1961 for Judy At Carnegie Hall.

Carole King: The first woman to win multiple General Field GRAMMYs

The first woman to win multiple GRAMMYs in the General Field was King, when she swept Record ("It's Too Late"), Album (Tapestry) and Song Of The Year ("You've Got A Friend") for 1971. The first women to win multiple GRAMMYs in the same General Field categories include Roberta Flack, who took Record Of The Year for 1972 and 1973, for "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and "Killing Me Softly With His Song," respectively. Lauryn Hill, Norah Jones and Alison Krauss have each won Album Of The Year twice, but only once in each case for their own recordings. Taylor Swift won Album Of The Year twice for 2009 and 2015, the first woman to do so as a solo artist. At the 59th GRAMMYs, Adele became the second solo female artist to win Album Of The Year twice. Additionally, she became the first artist in GRAMMY history to sweep Record, Song and Album Of The Year twice in her career, after doing so for 2011 and again for 2016.

Beyoncé: The woman with the most GRAMMY wins

At the 63rd GRAMMY Awards in 2021, Beyoncé became the performing artist with the most career GRAMMY wins ever (28) as well as the most nominated woman artist (79). (Quincy Jones also has 28 GRAMMY wins, yet primarily as a producer/composer).

Read: Who Are The Top GRAMMY Awards Winners Of All Time? Who Has The Most GRAMMYs?

Ella Fitzgerald, Wanda Jackson: The first women to perform on the GRAMMYs

The first televised GRAMMY event, a taped "NBC Sunday Showcase," in honor of the 2nd GRAMMY Awards, aired Nov. 29, 1959. It was Fitzgerald's performance on this broadcast that earned her the distinction of being the first woman to take the GRAMMY stage. When the GRAMMYs transitioned to a live television broadcast format for the 13th GRAMMY Awards in 1971, the first solo female performer was country singer Wanda Jackson singing "Wonder Could I Live There Anymore."

Bonnie Raitt: The most GRAMMY performances

Singer/songwriter Bonnie Raitt is the woman who has performed the most at the GRAMMYs. From her first solo performance of "Thing Called Love" at the 32nd GRAMMY Awards in 1990 through her latest performance in honor of B.B. King with Chris Stapleton and Gary Clark Jr. at the 58th GRAMMY Awards, Raitt has graced the stage nine times. In a tie for a close second are Franklin and Whitney Houston, who each notched eight career GRAMMY performances.

Watch: All the GRAMMY performers from the 1960s–1970s

Whoopi Goldberg: The first female GRAMMY host

Whoopi Goldberg served as the GRAMMYs' first female host at the 34th GRAMMY Awards in 1992. An EGOT (Emmy, GRAMMY, Oscar, and Tony) winner, the comedian already had an impressive array of credentials when she helmed the GRAMMY stage. Not one to shy away from pushing the envelope, she delivered arguably one of the raunchiest jokes in GRAMMY history when referencing the show's accounting firm: "I must tell you, Deloitte & Touche are two things I do nightly."

And the first female Special Merit Awards recipients were?

The inaugural Recording Academy Special Merit Award was given in 1963 to Bing Crosby, but it wasn't long until women made their mark. Fitzgerald was the first woman to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1967. The first woman to receive a Trustees Award was Christine M. Farnon in 1992, who served as The Recording Academy's National Executive Director for more than 20 years. Liza Minnelli became the first female artist to receive a GRAMMY Legend Award in 1990.

The first recordings by women to be inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame

Established in 1973 by The Academy's Board of Trustees to honor outstanding recordings that were made before the inception of the GRAMMY Awards, the first female recipients were inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 1976. Billie Holiday's "God Bless The Child" marked the first solo female recording. Gershwin's Porgy & Bess (Opera Version), featuring Camilla Williams, and the original Broadway cast version of "Oklahoma!," featuring Joan Roberts, were inducted into the Hall that same year.

From Abbey Road to "Zip-A-Dee-Doo Dah," view the full list of GRAMMY Hall Of Fame recordings



The GRAMMYs' Trailblazing Women, Part One

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 04:22 am

By Paul Grein

Women have been making history at the GRAMMYs as long as the awards have been presented. In 1958, the first year of the awards, Ella Fitzgerald won two awards: Best Vocal Performance, Female, and Best Jazz Performance, Individual. Opera star Renata Tebaldi and pop singer Keely Smith also took home awards.

Since March is Women's History Month, let's see which women were the first to win in various GRAMMY categories.

These are the first women to win in each current category that has been in place for at least five years. There are 56 categories that meet these criteria, so we're dividing the list in two. Today, we'll look at 26 categories, including Best Comedy Album, Best Music Video and Producer Of The Year, Classical. Tomorrow, we'll look at the remaining 30 categories (including the "big four" awards) as well as the Special Merit Awards.

The fine print: The category names are as they appeared this year. In many cases, the wording has changed over the years. Except in categories that exclusively recognize behind-the-scenes contributions, the focus here is on the first female artists to win. Where the first woman to win shared the prize with a man, we also show the first woman to win on her own.

Best Americana Album
Mavis Staples won the 2010 award for You Are Not Alone.

Best Bluegrass Album
Alison Krauss won the 1990 award for I've Got That Old Feeling.

Best Reggae Album
Sandra "Puma" Jones shared the 1984 award (the first year it was presented) with the male members of Black Uhuru for Anthem.

Best World Music Album
Cesária Évora took the 2003 award for Voz D'Amor.

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling)
Diane Linkletter won the 1969 award for We Love You, Call Collect, a collaboration with her father, TV personality Art Linkletter. The award was posthumous: Diane Linkletter committed suicide on Oct. 4, 1969, at age 20. Eight years later, actress Julie Harris became the first woman to win on her own for The Belle Of Amherst.

Best Comedy Album
Jo Stafford shared the 1960 award with her husband Paul Weston for Best Comedy Performance (Musical) for their comically off-key Jonathan And Darlene Edwards In Paris, which they released under those alter-egos. Eleven years later, Lily Tomlin became the first woman to win on her own for This Is A Recording.

Best Musical Theater Album
Broadway legends Ethel Merman and Gwen Verdon tied for the 1959 award. Merman won for "Gypsy"; Verdon for "Redhead." Micki Grant was the first woman to win for writing or co-writing a score. She won for 1972's "Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope."

Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media
Marilyn Bergman shared the 1974 award for The Way We Were with her husband, Alan Bergman, and Marvin Hamlisch.

Best Song Written For Visual Media
Cynthia Weil shared the 1987 award (the first year it was presented) for "Somewhere Out There" (from An American Tail). Weil co-wrote the ballad with her husband, Barry Mann, and James Horner. Two years later, Carly Simon became the first woman to win on her own for "Let The River Run" (from Working Girl).

Best Instrumental Composition
The late Jean Hancock shared the 1996 award with her brother, Herbie Hancock, for "Manhattan (Island Of Lights And Love)." The award was posthumous: Jean Hancock died in a 1985 plane crash. Maria Schneider was the first woman to win on her own. She took the 2007 award for "Cerulean Skies."

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)
Joni Mitchell shared the 1974 award with Tom Scott for arranging "Down To You," a track from her GRAMMY Hall Of Fame-inducted album, Court And Spark. Nan Schwartz was the first woman to win on her own. She took the 2008 award for arranging Natalie Cole's recording of the standard "Here's That Rainy Day."

Best Recording Package
Jann Haworth shared the 1967 award with Peter Blake as art directors on the Beatles' landmark Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Janet Perr was the first woman to win on her own. She took the 1984 award as art director on Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual.

Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package
Gail Zappa shared the 1995 award with her late husband, Frank Zappa, as art directors for his Civilization Phaze III. (Frank Zappa died in 1993.) Susan Archie was the first woman to win on her own. She took the 2002 award as art director of Screamin' And Hollerin' The Blues — The Worlds Of Charley Patton.

Best Album Notes
Thulani Davis shared the 1992 award as an album notes writer on Aretha Franklin's Queen Of Soul — The Atlantic Recordings. Her co-winners were Tom Dowd, Ahmet Ertegun, Arif Mardin, Dave Marsh, David Ritz, and Jerry Wexler.

Best Historical Album
Ethel Gabriel shared the 1982 award as a producer of The Tommy Dorsey/Frank Sinatra Sessions — Vols. 1, 2 & 3. Her co-winners were Alan Dell and Don Wardell.

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
Trina Shoemaker shared the 1998 award for engineering Sheryl Crow's The Globe Sessions. Her co-winners were Tchad Blake and Andy Wallace. Eleven years later, Imogen Heap became the first woman to win on her own for engineering her own album, Ellipse.

Best Surround Sound Album
Darcy Proper shared the 2006 award as the surround mastering engineer on Donald Fagen's Morph The Cat. Her co-winners were Fagen and Elliot Scheiner.

Best Engineered Album, Classical
Leslie Ann Jones and Brandie Lane shared the 2010 award for engineering Quincy Porter: Complete Viola Works by Eliesha Nelson and John McLaughlin Williams. Their co-winners were Kory Kruckenberg and David Sabee. (Note: In 1999 Jones became the first female Chair of The Recording Academy's Board of Trustees.)

Producer Of The Year, Classical
Joanna Nickrenz shared the 1983 award with Marc Aubort. Ten years later, Judith Sherman became the first woman to win on her own.

Best Opera Recording
Jeannine Altmeyer, Ortrun Wenkel and Gwyneth Jones shared the 1982 award for their work on "Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen." Their co-winners were conductor Pierre Boulez, Peter Hofmann, Manfred Jung and Heinz Zednick.

Best Choral Performance
Margaret Hillis shared the 1977 award as choral director of "Verdi: Requiem" by the Chicago Symphony Chorus. Her co-winner was conductor Georg Solti.

Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance
Anne-Sophie Mutter shared the 1999 award with Lambert Orkis for "Beethoven: The Violin Sonatas."

Best Classical Vocal Solo
Soprano Renata Tebaldi took the 1958 award (the first year of the GRAMMYs) for "Operatic Recital."

Best Contemporary Classical Composition
Joan Tower took the 2007 award for composing "Made In America," recorded by Leonard Slatkin and the Nashville Symphony.

Best Music Video/Best Music Film
Olivia Newton-John won the 1982 award for Video Of The Year for Olivia Physical, a 13-song video album. Today, that would fall into the Best Music Film category. Paula Abdul won the 1990 award for Best Music Video — Short Form for "Opposites Attract." Today, that would fall into the Best Music Video category.

And that's just half of the list. Come back tomorrow for part two, which will feature such stars as Judy Garland, Carole King, Madonna, Shakira, and Patti LaBelle.

(Paul Grein, a veteran music journalist and historian, writes regularly for Yahoo Music.)


The GRAMMYs' Trailblazing Women, Part Two

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 04:22 am

By Paul Grein

Judy Garland made history at the 4th GRAMMY Awards, becoming the first woman to win in one of the "big four" categories. She achieved the feat when her classic album Judy At Carnegie Hall won Album Of The Year for 1961.

In 1990 Garland's daughter, Liza Minnelli, became the first woman to receive a GRAMMY Legend Award.

In honor of Women's History Month, we're taking a look at the women who were the first to win in the current GRAMMY categories.

In part one, we looked at 26 categories, including Best Comedy Album, Best Music Video and Producer Of The Year, Classical. Today, we're going to look at the other 30 categories, including the "big four" awards, as well as The Recording Academy's Special Merit Awards.

Astrud Gilberto was the first woman to win Record Of The Year. She shared the 1964 award with Stan Getz for "The Girl From Ipanema." Carole King was the first woman to win in that category on her own. She took the 1971 award for "It's Too Late." King was also the first woman to win for Song Of The Year. She won that same year for writing "You've Got A Friend."

Bobbie Gentry was the first woman to win Best New Artist. She took the award for 1967, the year of her classic, "Ode To Billie Joe."

In 1967 Ella Fitzgerald became the first woman to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Another jazz legend, Billie Holiday, was the first woman to have a recording inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame. In 1976 voters saluted her 1941 classic "God Bless The Child."

In 1992 Christine M. Farnon, who was The Recording Academy's first full-time employee, became the first woman to receive a Trustees Award.

Let's conclude our look at the first women to win in every current category that has been in place for at least five years.

The fine print: The category names are as they appeared this year. In many cases, the wording has changed over the years. Except in categories that exclusively recognize behind-the-scenes contributions, the focus here is on the first female artists to win. Where the first woman to win shared the prize with a man, we also show the first woman to win on her own.

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
Keely Smith shared the 1958 award (the first year the GRAMMYs were presented) with her husband Louis Prima for "That Old Black Magic." The Pointer Sisters were the first all-female group or duo to win. They took the 1984 award for "Jump (For My Love)."

Best Pop Vocal Album
Bonnie Raitt won the 1994 award (the first year it was presented) for Longing In Their Hearts.

Best Dance Recording
Donna Summer shared the 1997 award (the first year it was presented) for "Carry On," a collaboration with Giorgio Moroder. The following year, Madonna became the first woman to win her own for "Ray Of Light." (Note: Gloria Gaynor won the 1979 award for Best Disco Recording for "I Will Survive.")

Best Dance/Electronica Album
Madonna won the 2006 award for Confessions On A Dance Floor.

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Natalie Cole took the 1991 award (the first year it was presented) for "Unforgettable." The single (the category was open to singles that year) featured her late father, Nat "King" Cole.

Best Rock Song
Alanis Morissette shared the 1995 award with Glen Ballard for "You Oughta Know." The following year, Tracy Chapman became the first woman to win on her own, for "Give Me One Reason."

Best Rock Album
Alanis Morissette won the 1995 award for Jagged Little Pill.

Best Alternative Music Album
Sinéad O'Connor won the 1990 award (the first year it was presented) for I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got.

Best Traditional R&B Performance
Patti LaBelle won the 1998 award (the first year it was presented) for Live! — One Night Only.

Best R&B Song
Betty Wright shared the 1975 award for co-writing her R&B hit "Where Is The Love" with Harry Wayne Casey, Willie Clarke and Richard Finch. Lauryn Hill was the first woman to win on her own. She took the 1998 award for writing her smash "Doo Wop (That Thing)."

Best R&B Album
The female trio TLC won the 1995 award for CrazySexyCool.

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
"Let Me Blow Ya Mind" by Eve featuring Gwen Stefani won the 2001 award (the first year it was presented).

Best Rap Song
Miri Ben Ari shared the 2004 award for co-writing Kanye West's "Jesus Walks" with West and Che Smith.

Best Rap Album
Lauryn Hill shared the 1996 award as a member of Fugees for their album The Score.

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
Verna Kimberly and Vera Kimberly of the Kimberlys shared the 1969 award (the first year it was presented) for "MacArthur Park," a collaboration with Waylon Jennings. Five years later, the Pointer Sisters became the first all-female group or duo to win for "Fairytale." (They were also the first all-female group or duo to win the equivalent pop award. What are the odds?)

Best Country Song
Debbie Hupp shared the 1979 award with Bob Morrison for co-writing Kenny Rogers' hit "You Decorated My Life." Two years later, Dolly Parton became the first woman to win on her own for "9 To 5."

Best Country Album
Mary Chapin Carpenter won the 1994 award for Stones In The Road.

Best New Age Album
Enya won the 1992 award for Shepherd Moons.

Best Jazz Vocal Album
Ella Fitzgerald won the 1976 award (the first year it was presented) for Fitzgerald And Pass…Again, on which she was accompanied by jazz guitarist Joe Pass.

Best Jazz Instrumental Album
This award has been presented every year since the inception of the GRAMMYs in 1958, but until this year, no female had won it. Terri Lyne Carrington broke the barrier in January with Money Jungle: Provocative In Blue.

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
Maria Schneider Orchestra took the 2004 award for Concert In The Garden.

Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance
Gladys Knight shared the 2004 award (the first year it was presented) with Ray Charles. They won for "Heaven Help Us All," a track from his album, Genius Loves Company. The following year, CeCe Winans became the first woman to win on her own for "Pray."

Best Gospel Song
Yolanda Adams shared the 2005 award (the first year it was presented) for "Be Blessed," which she co-wrote with Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and James Q. "Big Jim" Wright. Two years later, Karen Clark-Sheard of the Clark Sisters became the first woman to win on her own for "Blessed & Highly Favored."

Best Latin Pop Album
Lani Hall won the 1985 award for Es Facil Amar.

Best Latin Rock, Urban Or Alternative Album
Shakira won the 2005 award for Fijación Oral Vol. 1.

Best Tropical Latin Album
Celia Cruz shared the 1989 award with Ray Barretto for Ritmo En El Corazon. Three years later, Linda Ronstadt became the first woman to win on her own for Frenesi.

(Paul Grein, a veteran music journalist and historian, writes regularly for Yahoo Music.)

Introducing The "Take Note" Series: Pioneering Music Industry Icons

Mindy Abovitz

Photo: Brad Heck


Introducing The "Take Note" Series: Pioneering Music Industry Icons

From 'Tom Tom Magazine' founder Mindy Abovitz to the late singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, we celebrate the contributions of music pioneers past, present and future

GRAMMYs/Mar 2, 2018 - 03:56 am

The only Latin artist to have an E.G.O.T? A woman. One of the architects of Pearl Jam's classic sound? A woman. One of the leaders in the commercialization of hip-hop? A woman. Take note. Women in music is certainly not a new concept.

The month of March ushers in Women's History Month, and the launch of the Recording Academy's new digital series, Take Note. Every day for the month of March we'll be celebrating a new member of just a selection of pioneering industry icons, some you may be familiar with, and some who may have flown under the radar.

In this daily series we will spotlight a selection of familiar pioneering industry icons and those whose contributions have gone under radar. Among them: Tom Tom Magazine founder Mindy Abovitz, rap legend Missy Elliot, soprano Leontyne Price, Pearl Jam sound engineer Karrie Keyes, piano prodigy Vivian Fine, salsa expert Celia Cruz, and bluegrass maven Alison Krauss.

The contributions of women to the craft of music certainly requires more than one month of recognition. However, join us each day this month as we celebrate the people who are crucial to creating the vibrant music industry we know and love.

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