Lorde decorated her Grammy Awards dress with a feminist poem attacking “oppressors” after she was denied a performance slot at the ceremony on Sunday.
The 21-year-old star was nominated for Album of the Year for Melodrama, but was controversially not given the chance to sing a track from the record – unlike the four other nominees, who were all male.
Lorde, real name Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, revealed on Instagram that she had sewn a note with lines from feminist conceptual artist Jenny Holzer’s poem The Apocalypse Will Blossom into her dress.
“Rejoice! Our times are intolerable,” the poem reads. “Take courage, for the worst is a harbinger of the best. Only dire circumstance can precipitate the overthrow of oppressors. The old & correct must be laid to waste. Before the just can triumph. Contradiction will be heightened. The reckoning will be hastened by the staging of seed disturbances. The apocalypse will blossom.”
The Green Light singer, who was sat next to rumoured beau Jack Antonoff at the awards bash, looked unamused while watching other stars nominated for Album of the Year, including Kendrick Lamar and Bruno Mars take to the stage.
She was reportedly offered the chance to perform as part of a tribute to the late rocker Tom Petty, but refused due to her lack of a solo slot.
Addressing the controversy over Lorde backstage, Grammys executive producer Ken Ehrlich told Entertainment Tonight, “She had a great album. I mean, Album of the Year is a big honour, but there is no way we can really deal with everybody. So, sometimes maybe people get left out that shouldn’t, but on the other hand, we did the best we could to put on a really balanced show.”
Neil Portnow, the president of America’s Recording Academy, who host the event added, “We have a wealth of riches every year, and it’s hard to have a balanced show and have everybody involved. Every year is different. We can’t have a performance from every nominee.”
Portnow’s organisation have been heavily criticised for the lack of female representation at the Grammy Awards, as Alessia Cara was the only woman to take home a major prize at Sunday’s ceremony in New York.