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Last night's Sandy Relief concert was a historic gathering of some of the biggest names in music, an opportunity to hear music performed by iconic rock stars and one rap star. It was perfect DVR material and if DVD's of the show are produced, they will be best-sellers.

But, please, as wonderful as it was, we have to start asking these questions:
Why was there only one woman in the line-up?  
What was the criteria used to include performers that left room for only one female musician and one woman back-up singer, and no women comedians?
Were attempts made to ask other women?

A quick search this morning garnered just a couple of mentions:

The evening, billed as the “12/12/12 concert,” placed special emphasis on the date, and in 2012, it’s difficult to imagine that a major, hours-long musical event was staged with a single female headliner, and with few people of color.
Alicia Keys Puts On One-Woman Show at Sandy Concert:
The 12-12-12 concert for Hurricane Sandy relief featured some of the biggest names in popular music -- Paul McCartney! Billy Joel! Kanye West! -- and most of them happened to be male. Thankfully, Alicia Keys was on-hand to deliver a brief set before leading the crowd at New York's Madison Square Garden in an emotional encore performance on Wednesday night (Dec. 12).
Why not ask Joan Jett, Stevie Nicks, Annie Lennox, Carole King - who will be recieving a Library of Congress Award,  Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, Melissa Etheridge, Annie Lennox, Chrissie Hynde, Debbie Harry, Ann and Nancy Wilson or even Bett Middler? A little research shows that these women,many the same age or even younger than the headliners last night, are all still performing.

Did they ask Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, Mariah Carey, Gwen Stefanie, Rihanna, or even Lady Gaga?

What about Pat Benatar, who is from Greenpoint, an area hit by the storm?, Cyndi Lauper who is from Queens, NY?  

Last night's show was a rare opportunity to see our collective favorites play together for an important cause. There are few among us who weren't singing along with at least one of the songs in the set. It was historic and uplifting.

But, if things will ever change here in the US, we MUST keep asking why only one woman headliner was included.

It is embarrassing that media outlets as far away as London noticed that there weren't even any female comedians.  "The Guardian," noted:

Before I end I should mention that there was a healthy representation of comic talent punctuating the night. From Billy Crystal to Adam Sandler to Chris Rock to the cast of Saturday Night Live, they were there. But again, no female comedians took the stage. (Where were you, New York residents Tina Fey and Lena Dunham?) And the comedy was underwhelming and unfunny.
And, almost as frustrating as the lack of women headlining last night's show, is the lack of our own news media asking, "Why no women?"

It should be a glaring issue. Women are 51% of the US population. Last night if you include Diana Krall, who sang back-up to Sir Paul McCartney, women made up only .5% of the performance.

The concert's lack of women is one thing, but we can't forget the overall reason for the concert.  To donate to the effort click here:
To purchase memorabilia or learn more about the concert visit the website:

Last night's set list was iconic and will appeal to people of all ages in DVD format. But really, was there no room for a few more women here? Who makes these decisions?  Please, whenever you talk about this performance, includ that question in the conversation. These are the questions we have to ask more often if we are ever to achieve a level of equality in all areas of our lives.

 (from NY Daily News)
Bruce Springsteen: "Land of  Hope and Dreams," "Wrecking Ball," "My City of Ruins," "Jersey Girl," "Born To Run" (with Jon Bon Jovi)

Roger Waters: Selections from "The Wall," "Us and Them," "Comfortably Numb" (with Eddie Vedder)

Adam Sandler: "Hallelujah" (satire)

Bon Jovi: "It's My Life," "Dead Or Alive," "Who Says You Can't Go Home" (with Bruce Springsteen), "Living On A Prayer"

Eric Clapton: "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out," "Got To Get Better In A Little While," "Crossroads"

The Rolling Stones: "You Got Me Rocking," "Jumpin' 'Jack Flash"

Alicia Keys: "Brand New Me," "No One"

The Who "Who Are You?" "Bell Boy," "Pinball Wizard," "Listening To You," "Baba O'Riley," "Love, Reign O're Me," "Tea and Theater"

Kanye West: "Click," "Mercy," "Power,” "Touch The Sky," "Gold Digger," "Good Life," "Runaway," "Stronger"

Billy Joel:  "Miami 2017,"  "Movin' Out,"  "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," "New York State of Mind," "River of Dreams," "You May Be Right,"  "Only The Good Die Young"  

Chris Martin: "When I Ruled The World,"  "Losing My Religion" (with Michael Stipe), "Us Against The World"  

Sir Paul McCartney:  "Helter Skelter," "Let Me Roll It,"  "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five,"  "My Valentine" (with Diana Krall), "Blackbird"

Nirvana reunion with McCartney,  "I Got A Feelin," "Live and Let Die,"  with Alicia Keys on "Empire State of Mind"

Read more:

Originally posted to 51 Percent on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 12:43 PM PST.

Also republished by An Ear for Music and Sexism and Patriarchy.

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