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Women are poorly represented in the music industry, says new USC study




Despite the prominence of artists such as Beyoncé, female artists, songwriters and producers are woefully underrepresented in the music industry.
Despite the prominence of artists such as Beyoncé, female artists, songwriters and producers are woefully underrepresented in the music industry.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

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The countdown is on to Sunday’s Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden, but what is usually a celebratory week for the music industry has received a sobering reality check.

The USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative has released its first-ever examination of the music industry.

The initiative has in the past spotlighted the diversity shortcomings in the film and TV industries, but the new study — titled “Inclusion in the Recording Studio?” — paints a disheartening picture for female artists, songwriters and producers.

The study looked at 600 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart between 2012 and 2017. Results showed that in 2017, 83.2% of artists were male versus 16.8% female. For songwriters, 87.7% were male while 12.3% were female, and among producers, 98% were male and 2% were female. 

When it comes to Grammy nominees in the top categories between 2013-2018, 90.7% were male and 9.3% were female. 

Despite the prominence of artists such as Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and Adele, there's a big fall-off after those top names.

Stacy Smith, founder and director of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, spoke with John Horn on The Frame.



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