MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kelly Clarkson said Lorde should have been able to perform at the Grammys because she was nominated for album of the year.

"I did think it was weird. Lorde didn't get a performance slot, but I don't know the back story of that," Clarkson said in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday. "I hope there was a real, valid reason."

The Recording Academy drew criticism for not letting Lorde perform at its 60th show last weekend. The organization was also criticized because only two female performers won awards during the live telecast and its CEO said women need to "step up" when asked about the lack of female winners backstage.

When asked about Neil Portnow's comments, Clarkson said, "He was confused. Poor soul. Yup."

Portnow later said his words were taken out of context and he now understands the pain his "poor choice of words" has caused. The remarks were criticized by Pink, Sheryl Crow, Katy Perry, India.Arie and others.

He said last week the organization is creating a task force to uncover unconscious biases and other barriers that impede women's success in the music industry.

Clarkson, who has won three Grammys, said she would rather perform at the show than win an award.

"Winning those awards is always awesome 'cause your art is validated, so that's cool. But I always like the performance slots. ... I'd rather have a performance slot than win any award," she said.

"Let's talk about Pink at the Grammys, she didn't win the award that we were both up for, but she slayed that stage. She was the best vocal hands down of the night. She's incredible," Clarkson added. "That's more memorable for me. And maybe it's because I'm a singer."

Clarkson and Pink were both nominated for best pop solo performance, but lost to Ed Sheeran. Their new albums were released after Grammy eligibility, though their first singles were released in time.

"It was really cool I think specifically for me and Pink. ...I mean, we're both 35 and older, you know what I'm saying? That's really cool for us to have lasted and have longevity, and still be relevant, that's a really cool feat for especially women. Because count in your head right now how many of those women are on radio," she said. "Exactly."

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