Alicia Keys has announced She Is the Music, a women-led music industry initiative for female advancement, Variety reports. The singer announced the organization’s formation during her speech at the National Music Publishers Association’s annual meeting on Wednesday, where she was being honored as Icon Songwriter.
“I’ve joined forces with a group of really powerful female executives, songwriters, artists, engineers, producers and publishers to help reshape the industry that we all love by creating real opportunities and a pipeline of talent for other women,” she said. “We’re calling our initiative She Is the Music. We want to create a model for change that affects women across all industries.
“We deserve the utmost respect, and so many of these women across industries are telling our culture that time is up on double standards,” she continued, “and it is over for pay inequity and colleagues who are at best disrespectful and at the worst unsafe – so it’s over for that.”
While Keys didn’t detail the specifics regarding the initiative, she did stress why the timing is crucial. “We have to do something because the statistics are brutal,” she said during her speech, providing statistics backed by a University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative study, which was released earlier this year. The study found that women have been vastly underrepresented in the music industry.
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