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Girls to the front: an all-women playlist for Junos 2017

Tahiat Mahboob

Women might count for little more than 15 per cent of the 2017 Juno nominees, but they occupy 100 per cent of this playlist. Here's why.

Much like 2016, when the Juno nominations were announced this year, there was pushback. Tegan and Sara wrote a letter that gets to the heart of the matter:

“In eight categories no women were recognized at all, and in over 12 additional categories, only one in five of the nominees included a woman," they wrote. "Specifically in the areas of production and engineering, it is discouraging to not see a single woman represented.”

A few days after that letter was released, Macleans asked Allan Reid, the head of CARAS, for his thoughts on the issue:

“Do we have female producers who are at the top of their game to the same as the men are in producing these records that are having global success? For the most part, we don’t see that, not right now," he said. "That doesn’t mean there aren’t great women who are making great music, but when the committee vets those applications, they’re also trying to make sure that the best people get it, and it’s not gender-based. That’s one of the things at CARAS, we don’t base it on gender, or diversity, it’s about music and music only. And so those things aren’t really taken into account — I hope they’re not, by the judges, because that’s not what people should be based on. It should be about music.”

We decided to crunch the nomination numbers ourselves for 2017. In an effort to be accurate, we counted every nomination that had women, even if they only appeared as a featuring artist (Ashe, Delaney Jane, Shae Jacobs, etc), or part of a group (The Strumbellas, Weaves, Pugs and Crows, etc), or almost all the orchestras in the classical categories.

This year there are 45 categories at the Junos, including three special awards. These categories have a total of 218 nomination slots. Only 46 of those 218 slots are occupied by women. That number is lower when you factor in multiple nominations for the same artists. Setting that aside, there are only 34 instances of nominations that have women in some capacity, such as part of a group or orchestra, or as a featured artist on a male nominee’s song. Suffice to say, that almost 85 per cent disparity is very noticeable.

So, to highlight and celebrate the women nominees, we’ve created a playlist of the music for which they've been nominated. Hit play below for music from Tegan and Sara, Céline Dion, Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Alessia Cara, Jess Moskaluke, Grimes and more.

Editor's note: This playlist only includes tracks by women nominees. It does not include any of the groups or orchestras that have both women and men. Due to restricted availability, it also does not include some of the classical tracks that were nominated.

Follow Tahiat Mahboob on Twitter: @TahiatMahboob

More to explore:

Pantayo: 7 things to know about the 'super girl gong group'

11 songs you need to hear this week: International Women's Day edition

From Céline Dion to Lauryn Hill: 30 women who have changed music