Dua Lipa says she didn’t plan to call out Grammys president in her Best New Artist acceptance speech

The pop star responded to Neil Portnow's comments from the previous year that women needed to "step up"

Dua Lipa has explained that she didn’t plan to call out Grammys president Neil Portnow in her acceptance speech for Best New Artist.

Portnow caused controversy in a press conference at the 2018 awards ceremony when he suggested there was a lack of female winners because women needed to “step up” their game.

While picking up her second award of the night, Lipa said: “I guess where I want to begin is by saying how honoured I am to be nominated alongside so many really incredible female artists this year. I guess this year we’ve really stepped up.”

In a new interview with Elle, the pop star recalled the moment she was announced as the winner. “I had crazy adrenaline,” she said. “I was petrified waiting to hear what happened. When they called my name, I blacked out. I was so nervous. Lady Gaga was front row and blew me a kiss, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, my brain isn’t working.’ But I managed to say something that meant a lot to me. I wish I didn’t ‘Um’ and ‘Ah’ as much as I did, but I’m glad I thanked all my female peers, because that was one thing that I definitely wanted to do.”

Asked if her line about stepping up was “deliberate”, she replied: “I didn’t plan it. It just came out of my mouth. But it felt right; it was obviously shade, but at the same time, he’s spoken about it and he knows what he did.”

Meanwhile, Lipa is currently working on her second album. The singer recently shared an update with fans, revealing that she had been in the studio with Nile Rodgers. “I want to keep you all in and part of the process so, as I’m slowly going on and starting to finish songs for my next album, yesterday was truly one for the books,” she wrote on Twitter.

Last week (April 2), it was reported that the ‘New Rules’ star would shoot the video for her rumoured James Bond theme song this summer. Lipa has yet to be officially confirmed to be doing the Bond 25 theme tune, with the star herself responding to rumours last year by saying: “I would love to do it, but I’m not recording it… so far.”