Lorde Publishes Full-Page Ad After the Grammys to Thank Fans for Supporting Female Musicians

Lorde makes a pretty good role model for young women arguing for their worth.

On Tuesday morning, the 21-year-old pop singer from New Zealand took out a full-page ad in The New Zealand Herald to thank fans back home for supporting her 2017 album, Melodrama. She added, "Thank you also for believing in female musicians," a statement which some have assumed was a passive-aggressive knock at the Recording Academy, which hosts the Grammys.

To parse the subtext in Lorde's celebratory note, let's rewind to a few weeks ago. 

On January 23, GQ published a profile of Jack Antonoff, a pop music producer who has written songs for Lorde, Taylor Swift and St. Vincent. GQ tagged Lorde in its post, despite having described her transcendent break-up single, "Green Light," as "just another Jack Antonoff song." Lorde responded coolly on Twitter: "Knew there was a way to describe the personal and skilful work that i do turns out it’s “singing jack antonoff songs [sic]." The magazine didn't reply.

A few days later, Variety reported that the Recording Academy had booked every artist nominated for Album of the Year to perform solo at the Grammys—everyone, that is, except Lorde. The report read that she had been offered a performance slot collaborating with other artists on a Tom Petty tribute. She understandably declined.

The night of the Grammys, Lorde arrived in a blood-red gown adorned with writing from feminist artist Jenny Holzer. In lieu of a purse, she carried a flask down the red carpet, which Rihanna had done the year before.

On January 29, when asked to explain the decision not to give Lorde a solo spot on the Grammys, one of the show's producers, Ken Ehrlich, told Variety, "We have a box and it gets full. She had a great album. There’s no way we can really deal with everybody."

The same day, Lorde tweeted a link to her tour schedule with a caption that Variety understood to be her response to Ehrlich's comments. "IF YOU’RE DEBATING WHETHER OR NOT I CAN MURDER A STAGE... COME SEE IT FOR URSELF," she wrote.

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