New study confirms women are underrepresented in popular music

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A new study from the University of Southern California has revealed the harsh truth for women in popular music.

The report, compiled by a selection of leading academics, aimed to “assess the gender and race / ethnicity of artists, songwriters and producers across the top 800 songs of 2012-2019”, taken from the Hot 100 Year-End Billboard Charts.

In conclusion, the researchers found that less than 23% of artists and less than 2% of producers were women.

The study, which is the Annenburg Inclusion Initiative’s fourth annual report, also looked at inequalities at the Grammys – specifically the Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Best New Artist categories. and Producer of the film. Year.

Although positive increases were seen, a highlight in 2021 found that women made up only 28.1% of total applicants, and as little as 6.4% in 2017.

Elsewhere, the study found that female artists were the most prominent in pop (32%) while only 12.3% of hip-hop / rap songs were performed by women.

As Fork reports, artists of color made up about 45.4% of performers in the 800 songs featured in the study, but the report also found that women of color were “invisible” as producers, with only eight of the 1,093 production credits.

Meanwhile, recently released numbers to mark International Women’s Day 2021 yesterday (March 8) also showed that the gender balance is still heavily male-focused in the professional songwriting and songwriting community.

PRS for Music, the organization serving more than 150,000 music creators and publishers, has registered some 1,971 women enrolling as professional songwriters and composers.

That’s a 12.3% year-over-year increase from 2019, but men still make up 81.7% of PRS for Music members.

The numbers also showed a financial disparity, with the 10 highest-paid songwriters in 2020 generating 70% less income than their male counterparts in 2020.

Check out the reactions from the music world to International Women’s Day 2021 here.



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