Monae was also joined by songwriter Linda Perry, the first women nominated for non-classical producer of the year in 15 years and rapper-singer Tierra Whack, who scored a nomination for best music video for her "Mumbo Jumbo".
There was a tie for best rap performance, and Drake was surprisingly not one of the winners.
Carlile is the most nominated woman with six nominations, including bids for song and record of the year with "The Joke".
Lady Gaga scooped up five nominations including for both Record and Song of the Year for her heart-pounding hit Shallow, which she performed in the film A Star Is Born with co-star Bradley Cooper. Best new artist Alessia Cara was the only woman to receive her own award during the telecast, and Lorde, the sole woman to earn an album of the year nomination, was not invited to perform her own music. See all of the stunning celebrity arrivals on the 2019 Grammys red carpet!
Women were strongly represented at this year's Grammys.
"This is going to be a special Grammys".
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"What I plan to do is let every woman who is nominated, who is here this weekend, know that from the red carpet to the stage, win or lose, I have your back". "I'm just so proud to be involved and to go into the studio with such an incredible talent, including the talent that's out there tonight and thank you guys for giving us this platform". Janelle Monae's "Dirty Computer", country singer Kacey Musgraves' "Golden Hour", Carlile's "By The Way, I Forgive You", newcomer H.E.R's self-titled "H.E.R.", and the "Black Panther" soundtrack round out contenders for album of the year. "I relax more ... when I know that I am supported by other women ... and I feel like I can do anything".
The main performers for this year includes Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Dua Lipa, St. Vincent, Chloe x Halle and Travis Scott. "This is just the beginning of moving to a more inclusive future".
The lead-up to this year's Grammys has not been completely smooth, though. Other big stars also declined to attend, including Kendrick Lamar, the top nominee with eight, and Drake, nominated for seven awards.
When asked about the lack of women in the top categories at the 2018 Grammys, Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow said women need to "step up". Weeks later, the academy announced that it had hired Tina Tchen, a lawyer and Michelle Obama's former chief of staff, to head a new task force on inclusion and diversity.