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Music Industry Pledged To Do Better In Diversity And Inclusion, But So Far It Has Not

Beyonce performs as she is pregnant with twins during the 59th Annual Grammy music Awards on February 12, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. / AFP / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images) VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Ima
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We know the film and TV industries have a bad track record when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Now, a new music industry DEI report card has just as many failing grades.

The study from USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative is filled with discouraging statistics, even after an industry pledge to do better.

Examining the 900 most popular songs over the past nine years, the researchers found that less than 13% of the song’s authors were women. Female producers didn’t even account for 3% of people behind those songs, and the numbers were even worse for non-white women.

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Even though artists such as Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Rihanna are wildly popular, most other female performers remain outliers, including at the Grammy Awards, which will be staged this coming weekend. Less than 14% of all Grammy nominees over those nine years were women.

Three years ago, USC’s equally woeful analysis prompted music industry calls for change. The result? In 2019, nearly 23% of the 100 top songs were by female artists.

Last year, the figure dropped to barely 20%.

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