grammys 2019

Dua Lipa Explains Why She Referenced Sexist ‘Step Up’ Comment in Grammys Speech

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Recording A

Dua Lipa didn’t accept her first Grammy without sticking it to the man. Upon receiving the Best New Artist Grammy on Sunday, the singer took a dig at Recording Academy president Neil Portnow, who stated that female artists should “step up” at last year’s ceremony. While accepting her award, she said it was an honor “to be nominated alongside so many incredible female artists this year.” She then added, “I guess this year we really stepped up.” After her speech, the award winner explained her motivation to include this subtle shade.

“Being in the New Artist category and having so many female artists nominated is a big change. It’s a change we hope to see for many years to come,” she told reporters in the press room at the show. “It’s a big difference from previous years. I feel so grateful to have been a part of the nominations when they came out and to see so many women honored. Like, this is amazing. It felt right to be able to do that because they were artists I love and admire and I’m so honored to be able to share that moment with them.”

Like many winners on Sunday, the UK native’s speech was cut off during the live show. In the press room, she took the opportunity to finish her thank you’s. “I was so lost in what had just happened, it was so difficult for me to remember everyone’s names and think about who I wanted to thank,” she admitted. “My fans… they really helped me get to where I am today. To my team, my label who completely slipped my mind, although it does take an army,” the artist continued. “My family, my little brother and sister, my friends… I’m grateful they’re still here. All the artists that really inspired me because without them, I feel like, I probably wouldn’t have dreamt as big as I did… For everyone who felt because they had a different background or story… no matter what you do or where you’re from, what your background is, or what you believe in, [that can’t] get in the way of you and your dreams.”

Dua Lipa on Why She Referenced ‘Step Up’ Comment at Grammys