Ellie Goulding was asked to call out Grammys boss Neil Portnow when she gave a speech at the Brit Awards.
The CEO previously told female musicians to “step up” if they wanted to be in the running for more awards, to which the Burn singer replied: “We’re very proud to be women, and actually I think we can all agree that we’ve been stepping up for years,” when she presented the International Female Solo Artist accolade at the London ceremony in February (18).
However, Ellie has admitted that it wasn’t her idea to hit back at the controversial comments on stage.
“To be completely honest with you, I was asked to say that,” the Pantene brand ambassador candidly told Metro.co.uk at an event. “I didn’t want to say no, because I thought it was something that should have been said by someone. I was like ‘if no one else is going to say it, then I’ll say it’.”
The #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have been talking points at many of this year’s biggest events, with many celebrities using their speeches and performances as opportunities to publicly address sexual harassment in the entertainment industry. Like many, Ellie posed on the Brits red carpet with a white rose as a symbol of solidarity, but she doesn’t believe the U.K. awards show was as politically driven as others.
“It wasn’t a political night like the other awards ceremonies, and that’s fine,” she insisted. “I think the Brits has always been a celebration of British music, and I respect that massively. I’ve watched the Brits since I was very young, I never thought I’d win a Brit, I never thought I’d be at the Brits. It’s always such an honour for me to be there.”
The 31-year-old went on to credit “many strong women” for helping her cultivate her successful music career, and while she is adamant that she “respects the Grammys,” she “thinks there needs to be a little bit more equality.”