A new study by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative reveals the bleak reality for women in popular music. The report written by Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Dr. Katherine Pieper, Hannah Clark, Ariana Case and Marc Choueiti aimed to “evaluate the gender and race / ethnicity of artists, songwriters and producers in the top 800 songs of 2012-. 2019 ”(derived from the Hot 100 Year-End Billboard Charts). The researchers found that less than 23 percent of the artists and less than 2 percent of the producers were women.

This year’s study provided the fourth annual report from the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, which was funded by Spotify for research. The five biggest Grammys categories were also discussed: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Best New Artist and Producer of the Year. And while the number of female nominees is on the up, the 9-year high in 2021 accounted for just 28.1 percent of the total nominees, up from just 6.4 percent in 2017. The Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which produces the awards ceremony, hired its first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer last year.

Other trends include the gap between female solo artists (31 percent) and women in bands (7.3 percent) and between female artists (21.6 percent) and songwriters (12.6 percent). In terms of genre, women artists were best known in pop (32 percent), while only 12.3 percent of hip-hop / rap songs were performed by women. And while male-only writing teams were common (57.3 percent), less than 1 percent of songs had female-only writing credits.

Color artists did better, making up 45.4 percent of the performers in the 800 songs in the study. However, the report found that women with color were “invisible” as producers, with only eight of the 1,093 loans producing.

Read “Why Are Women Underrepresented In Music? Check out the Ryan Adams story “in the field. .