Photo: Mark Surridge

Ed Sheeran's GRAMMY Win for 'Shape of You' Fuels Gender Debate

January 29, 2018

By Scott T. Sterling

Do the GRAMMYs have a gender issue? After music fans grumbled about the disparity in female artist representation at the 60th annual awards ceremony last night (Jan. 28), Recording Academy president Neil Portnow called on women in music to "step up" and create that representation with their work (via Variety).

Related: Kesha Leads Powerful Group Performance At 2018 GRAMMYs

The debate continued online after Ed Sheeran's Best Pop Solo Performance win for the song "Shape of You." The pop star beat out an all-female cast of competitors in Kesha, Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarson and P!nk—all female singers known for lyrics based on being strong, powerful and independent. Considering the current emphasis on the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements some on social media expressed dismay over a man winning the award singing a song about a woman’s body. "Love when four women are nominated in a category and the only man takes it home esp when that man is Ed Sheeran #Grammys," tweeted one viewer. Still, Sheeran fans defended the British singer and the win. "Ed Sheeran is really talented, he’s played multiple tours alone with no band or backup singers and he writes all of his music," stated one such fan on Twitter. "He’s never done anything offensive. Y’all always go for the wrong people to hate. Go to the root of the problem for god's sake. All he did was sing a song."