David Byrne’s Mea Culpa: ‘I Regret Not Hiring And Collaborating With Women’ For Album

David Byrne’s upcoming album, American Utopia, has a list of contributors including Brian Eno, Daniel Lopatin, Sampha, and Jam City, to name a few. But the list doesn’t include female artists and his fans are calling him out on that point.


Byrne posted on his Facebook page March 5, “I recently posted a piece and a playlist about the various folks who collaborated on my new album. There have been some responses and some of them have pointed out the lack of women among this group. I’d like to thank those of you who wrote for calling attention to this – this matters a lot to me.” 

“I regret not hiring and collaborating with women for this album – it’s ridiculous, it’s not who I am, and it certainly doesn’t match how I’ve worked in the past. It doesn’t represent my current live show, which has a slew of diverse creators and collaborators, making this even more negligent on my part.”

Byrne added, “It’s hard to realize that no matter how much effort you spend nudging the world in what you hope is the right direction, sometimes you are part of the problem. I never thought of myself as being “one of those guys,” but I guess to some extent I am. Your responses serve as a corrective. Thank you”

American Utopia is scheduled for release March 9. The “American Utopia World Tour” kicked off March 6 in Buffalo, N.Y., and covers North and South America and Europe through Aug. 27.

There has also been a push to get more women on festival bills, with a group of 45 international festivals pledging to have gender-equal lineups by 2022.