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Female artists may have won Glastonbury but we still have a long way to go for real equality in music

In the words of Lizzo, ‘be that bitch!’

02 Jul 2019

The legend set at Glastonbury, which always traditionally takes place late Sunday afternoon and prime for those festival feels on the last day of the iconic music festival, always draws in a crowd. But no one pulled in a crowd quite like Kylie Minogue at Glastonbury 2019.

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Over 100,000 thousand people packed into the Pyramid stage field to Step Back in Time with the Australian legend and - amongst all the sprinklings of camp, witness a tearful speech from the 51-year-old. Kylie was meant to headline the festival in 2005 before she was forced to pull out due to being diagnosed with cancer and the star opened up about the challenging ‘circumstances.’ With barely enough room to dance, there were hardly any dry eyes in the field.

But whilst this was a great personal moment for Kylie, the significance of the record-breaking crowd was a greater moment for women – especially women in music. This is, after all, a woman in her 50s who in an industry riddled by sexism, has had a 30-year long career thanks to her unique take on pop music.

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Thank you SO MUCH! Words cannot describe what today meant to me. @glastofest

A post shared by Kylie Minogue (@kylieminogue) on

The festival had three all-male headliners this year with Stormzy, The Killers and The Cure taking top billing. At a festival where only two women have headlined since 2007, Adele and Beyoncé, it failed to reach the 50/50 quota, with only 42 percent of the acts being women.

Speaking to the BBC just before Glastonbury, the organiser, Emily Eavis, addressed the bias. “I’m ashamed to say that, within our organisation, there’s men who book stages, and quite a few of them are old men and they don’t understand why I’m pushing all the time. One of them presented their line-up this year and I was like, ‘I’m really sorry but you’re just going to have to take some of the blokes off. There’s no women.’ And they were like, ‘Oh for God’s sake, you’ve lost your mind.’”

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However, like Kylie Minogue, the female artists shouted the loudest – glitter cannons and all. Following the pop icon onto the stage was an icon in the making, Miley Cyrus. Belting out her hits including, Party in The USA and Wrecking Ball, it was all too clear the singer was leaving everything on the stage. There was even a nod to another legend, Dolly Parton, as the singer covered Jolene. But why wasn’t the star headlining the show? After that performance, Miley certainly put a case forward for doing so.

However, when it came to empowerment, Lizzo took the crown. Wearing a sequin one-piece, the body positivity campaigner did not waste any time in telling the adoring crowd: ‘I am that bitch!’

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Following her viral performance at the BET awards last week, her album, Cuz I Love You, took the number one slot in America. Lizzo bought the celebration but the crowd was at its loudest when the star urged the crowd to chant back her unique take on self-love. Everyone was urged to ‘be that bitch,’ too and after saying, 'I love you, you are beautiful and you can do everything,' the crowd walked - or rather danced - two inches taller.

These three women alone show that whilst we have some way to go in an industry where only 16.8% of top 40 stars are women, they certainly won’t take the sexism lying down. In this case, those who shout loudest are the most effective.

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Can you do me a HUGE favor?... no matter what you’re doing right now... can you take a second and pause? Now.. Take 3 deep breaths... 1 ... 2 .... and a super deep breath on 3..... imagine pure love coming into your body and hold it right on your heart. Then say to yourself: “I LOVE YOU. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. AND YOU CAN DO ANYTHING.” Repeat as many times as you need. Thank you, I really appreciate it 💆🏾‍♀️👰🏾😘

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GLAMOUR went to Glastonbury with EE and stayed connected with the UK’s 5G Network