Dedicated to Women Guitarists and Bassists

Women Shred the 58th Grammy Awards But How Much Progress Do We Really See?

February 16, 2016
Written by
Fabi Reyna

Like most award shows, The Grammys are an annual event where a congregation of “experts” we’ve never heard of tell us that the artists on our TV screens are the best in music right now.

In most cases, the general public believes this small pool of music industry people because, why not? For the past five years, artists like Bruno Mars, Pharell Williams, Dave Grohl, and Lady Gaga have graced the stage, making us numb to progress, evolving, and actual new talent.

In 2011 Esperanza Spalding beat Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence and the Machine, and Mumford and Sons in the Best New Artist category, making her the first jazz musician to ever win the award. For a moment we asked ourselves, “Is this progress?” Her win rattled the media, not because of her lack of talent, but because the award show industry just doesn’t have the reputation of recognizing anyone who isn’t a top-selling, major label pop star, much less a woman. And even less so a woman of color who creates jazz compositions.

According to Bustle, in 2015 women made up 30% of the total 135 slots for nominees. While 2016 shows a 9% increase—a pretty promising increase if you ask us—it doesn’t mean anything without the awards and performances to match it.

For this reason, watching Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes win her third Grammy of the night and then delivering an inspiring performance with her SG in hand felt like progress.

Legendary guitarist, Bonnie Raitt, being recognized as such and performing alongside some of today’s guitar idols felt like progress.

And let’s be real, Courtney Barnett should’ve won Best New Artist and Peggy Jones AKA Lady Bo should have been recognized in the Grammy’s tribute line-up. Congratulation to all of the women guitarists/bassists who were nominated or won a 2016 Grammy award! Check out our full list below.

WARNING: Taylor Swift is included in this list (because She Shreds) so if you’re a hater, I’m sorry (not sorry).

Album of the Year
Winner: Taylor Swift, 1989
Alabama Shakes, Sound and Color

Record of the Year
Taylor Swift, “Blank Space”

Song of the Year
Taylor Swift, “Blank Space”

Best New Artist
Courtney Barnett
Tori Kelly

Best Pop Vocal Album
Winner:  Taylor Swift, 1989

Best Rock Performance
Winner: Alabama Shakes, “Don’t Wanna Fight”
Elle King, “Ex’s & Oh’s”
Wolf Alice, “Moaning Lisa Smile”

Best Alternative Music Album
Winner: Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Kehlani, You Should Be Here
Lianne La Havas, Blood

Best Country Album
Kacey Musgraves, Pageant Material

Best Latin Pop Album
Julieta Venegas, Algo Sucede

Best Americana Album
Brandi Carlile, The Firewatcher’s Daughter
Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, The Traveling Kind

Best Rock Song
Winner: Alabama Shakes, “Don’t Wanna Fight”
Elle King, “Ex’s & Oh’s”

Best Country Song
Brandy Clark, “Hold My Hand”

Best Country Solo Performance
Cam, “Burning House”


Bonnie Raitt, Gary Clark Jr., and Chris Stapleton, “The Thrill is Gone” (B.B. King tribute)

Alabama Shakes, “Don’t Wanna Fight”

Our Official Newsletter

She Shreds Media: Our mission is to educate, empower, and inspire people through unexplored musical and cultural landscapes. Our vision is to continuously refine, redefine, and reimagine the possibilities of how music connects us, ensuring an inclusive and accessible music community 100% of the time.
She Shreds Media
She Shreds Media