British artists Dua Lipa aimed a dig at Recording Academy president Neil Portnow as she accepted the award for best new artist at the Grammys.

Last year, following complaints the nominations were dominated by men, Portnow suggested women should “step up”.

This year, the categories contained far more women. Accepting the prize on stage, Lipa said she was “honoured” to be nominated alongside “incredible” female artists, adding: “I guess this year we really stepped up.”

61st Annual Grammy Awards – Show
Dua Lipa accepts the award for best new artist (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

The New Rules hitmaker was one of only a smattering of UK acts to make it on to the event’s shortlist.

The 23-year-old triumphed over rising stars Chloe x Halle, Luke Combs, Greta Van Fleet, H.E.R., Margo Price, Bebe Rexha and fellow British star Jorja Smith.

The English-Kosovan vocalist has seen her career go stratospheric in the last year, with her eponymous debut spawning a series of number one singles.

Speaking on the red carpet earlier in the night, Lipa said her last year in music felt like being “strapped to a rocket”.

“It’s just been so crazy and such a whirlwind,” she said.

61st Annual Grammy Awards – Arrivals
The 23-year-old triumphed in a competitive category (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

“I can’t believe I’m standing here right now. I feel like for most of it I’ve been strapped to a rocket and I’ve really been learning to take a step back and try and be present in everything, because all these things, all these milestones that have been happening.

“I really need to take them all in and appreciate it.”

Speaking in the winners’ room after accepting her award, Lipa said it was “upsetting” that Grammy-nominated artist 21 Savage had been detained “given that he hasn’t actually done anything”.

The musician was arrested on in Atlanta, Georgia, after being accused by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of overstaying his visa and being in the country illegally.

Lipa subsequently praised his contribution to American culture.