Today was a historic day for the upcoming Grammy Awards, as all of the performers nominated for the Best Rock Performance category were female, or female-led for the first time in the event’s history. The nominees this year include “Shameika” by Fiona Apple, “Not” by Big Thief, “Kyoto” by Phoebe Bridgers, “The Steps” by Haim, “Stay High” by Brittany Howard, “Daylight” by Grace Potter.
Big Thief does have men in the group, however the band is fronted by vocalist and guitar player Adrianne Lenker, who has a robust solo discography in her own right as well. Brittany Howard had been previously nominated for Best Rock Performance last year, with “History Repeats.” Howard’s band Alabama Shakes is also a four time Grammy-Award winner, winning Best Rock Performance for “Don’t Wanna Fight” back in 2016.
Congratulations 63rd #GRAMMYs Best Rock Performance nominees: Fiona Apple, @bigthiefmusic, @phoebe_bridgers, @HAIMtheband, Brittany Howard (@blkfootwhtfoot), and @gracepotter: https://t.co/teAbOeBzZ9 pic.twitter.com/ZH30l1eyHR
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) November 24, 2020
The Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance is a relatively new award beginning in 2012, and Howard remains the only woman in its history to have won that Grammy. She was also the first woman nominated for the award alongside her band Alabama Shakes back in 2013. Howard is also the artist who holds the most nominations for the award, four of which were made alongside Alabama Shakes.
Prior to the establishment of the award, this Grammy was called the Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance, but it was only awarded to a woman once, Bonnie Raitt, in 1992. Raitt, Melissa Etheridge and Lucinda Williams were the only female performers to have ever been nominated for that joint category. This award was split between Best Female Rock Vocal Performance and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance during different years since the 1980s.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat