Two decades ago (well, 21 years, to be exact), a 19-year-old Fiona Apple accepted the Best New Artist in a Video award from Elton John at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards. Her speech, now infamous, had the “Criminal” singer declaring “This world is bullshit,” directing her frustration to a corrupt industry and the false glamor it promises fans: “You shouldn’t model your life about what you think that we think is cool and what we’re wearing and what we’re saying and everything. Go with yourself.” It’s safe to say little has changed, and Fiona is just as angry now and she was then. Most recently, Apple has taken aim at the Recording Academy and its president, Neil Portnow, after he declared women in music need to “step up” to earn recognition from his antiquated institution.


Apple joined Garbage’s Shirley Manson at Girlschool L.A., a festival featuring only female-identifying artists, on Saturday night while wearing a shirt that read “Kneel, Portnow.” The duo performed a cover of Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me,” (you can watch it above) which is all...too appropriate. Especially poignant is the song’s conclusion, the alt-rock legends harmonizing over “I’m free and I love to be free / To live.”

Let’s hope Portnow gets wind of this, because it doesn’t get much clearer. Bye!

Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out July 21.

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