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Story highlights

There were few Grammy wins by women

Academy president said women need to "step up"

(CNN) —  

Despite a strong show of support for the Time’s Up movement on the red carpet, where the Grammys’ biggest stars donned white roses to support female empowerment, there was a glaring lack of female representation in the winners’ list.

And some fans are not happy about it.

Hollywood has been at the forefront of a cultural shift in which movements like Time’s Up and #MeToo have put the spotlight squarely on the treatment of women and gender inequality.

All of that served as a backdrop Sunday night as female artists failed to score wins at the 60th Grammy Awards.

Of the major awards televised, Alessia Cara was the only woman to win solo for best new artist.

Two other women, Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman, won best country duo/group performance as part of the group, Little Big Town.

Related: Kesha’s ‘Praying’ is Grammys #MeToo moment

Women took center stage during Kesha’s powerful performance of her hit “Praying” as the singer was joined by Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Andra Day, Julia Michaels and Bebe Rexha and the Resistance Revival Chorus.

The women, all clad in white, surrounded Kesha and embraced her after an emotional performance which featured lyrics that have become, for some, an anthem for abused and disenfranchised women.

But Lorde, who was the only woman nominated in the best album category, was not scheduled to perform.

Billboard reported that Recording Academy president Neil Portnow had an explanation for that backstage.

“Every year is different, we can’t have a performance from every nominee – we have over 80 categories,” he said. “So we have to realize that we’ve got to create something that has balance, and so on and so forth. And what you saw was our best judgment of how to do that.”

There were reportedly some slight boos from the audience when Ed Sheeran – who was not present – won best pop solo performance for “Shape of You” over four women: Kelly Clarkson, Kesha, Lady Gaga and Pink.

Twitter users took to the social platform to comment on the gender gap with the hashtag #GrammysSoMale.

Singer Janelle Monae, who delivered a stirring speech about Time’s Up and #MeToo, tweeted “A total of 90.7% of nominees between 2013 and 2018 were male, meaning just 9.3% were women #Times Up #Grammys.”

Related: Read Janelle Monae’s empowering Grammy speech

Portnow told Variety female artists need to “step up.”

“It has to begin with… women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level,” he said. “[They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome.”