When reggae star Etana received a nomination for the Best Reggae album with her “Reggae Forever” set just over a year ago, she made history. Only three females had ever been nominated in that category and none had ever received a Grammy until last night at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards.
Koffee, a 19-year-old recording artist from Kingston, Jamaica became the first female to receive a Best Reggae Album award since the category was introduced in 1984. Koffee, who was nominated alongside veteran artists Julian Marley, Steel Pulse, Third World and Sly & Robbie and Roots Radics, received the Grammy for her album “Rapture.”
“It’s a huge honor,” she told reporters backstage at the Staple Center after making a brief speech in which she recognized her follow nominees. Prior to Etana’s nomination in 2018, the last female to walk away with a nomination was Sister Carol who was nominated in 1997 for her album, “Lyrically Potent.”
Check out pictures from the 62nd annual Grammy Awards:
The Recording Academy, the body that oversees the Grammy Awards, has been marred with allegations of gender inequality and a 2018 study by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative showed that between 2013 and 2018 alone, only 9.3 percent of the nominees for Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist and Producer of the Year were women.
Perhaps it was the Academy’s plan to remedy this malady as it heaped awards on several female singers in several categories. Angelique Kidjo received her fourth Grammy for Best World Music Album for ‘Celia,’ Former First lady Michelle Obama earned her first Grammy win for the audiobook version of her best-selling memoir “Becoming,” Lizzo won three Grammys, Lady Gaga received two and Beyoncé won her 24th. Esperanza Spalding also won best jazz vocal album for “12 Little Spells” and disco queen Gloria Gaynor took home a Grammy for Best Roots gospel album for “Testimony.”
There was also singer Billie Eilish’s big sweep. She became the first woman to take home the Big Four awards: Album, Record and Song of the Year plus Best New Artist and at 18, the youngest Album of the Year winner in Grammy history while Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir received the Best Score soundtrack for visual media for her score to HBO’s “Chernobyl” and became the first woman to win in this category in more than 30 years.
Singer Alicia Keys hosted the Grammys for the second year in a row and became the first woman in 14 years to host the Grammys.
By Samantha Ofole-Prince/Photos by Shola @ Bill Jones Photos