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New study confirms women are underrepresented in popular music

A new study from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative have confirmed that women are underrepresented in popular music.

Put together by Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Dr. Katherine Pieper, Hannah Clark, Ariana Case, and Marc Choueiti, the fourth annual report looked at “the gender and race/ethnicity of artists, songwriters and producers across the 800 top songs from 2012-2019,” based on Billboard’s Hot 100 Year- End Charts.

The report detailed that less than 23 per cent of artists and less than 2 per cent of producers were women. Additionally, while women account for 31 per cent of solo artists, they only account for 7.3 per cent of band members. Female artists were most prominently found in pop, and only 12.3 per cent of hip-hop and rap songs were performed by women.

The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, which received funding from Spotify for the research, also looked at the Grammys’ five biggest categories: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Best New Artist, and Producer of the Year.

While the number of women nominated for Grammy Awards is definitely going up, in the 9 year peak this year, only 28.1 per cent of the total nominees are women, and in 2017 women accounted for just 6.4 per cent.

Less than 1 per cent of songs had women-only writing credits, while a whopping 57.3 per cent of writing credits had all-male teams.

Artists of colour made up 45.4 per cent of performers in the 800 songs in the report, but only eight of the 1,093 producing credited were women of colour.

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