The London singer Kanye’d herself and used her Album of the Year speech to appreciate ‘Lemonade’
During last night’s Grammys, it became abundantly clear as the night wore on that Beyoncé would not be taking home a trophy for Album of the Year. Her only win came in the “urban contemporary” category against other black artists Rihanna, Anderson .Paak, Gallant and KING. Some questioned on Twitter what urban contemporary even meant. (It’s a repurposing of the R&B category). Beyoncé soliloquized for the first time publicly, beautifully, about what Lemonade and its accompanying film meant.
“We all experience pain and loss and often we become inaudible,” she said. “My intention for the film and album was to create a body of work that would give a voice to our pain, our struggles, our darkness and our history. To confront issues that make us uncomfortable. It’s important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty, so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror – first to their own families as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House and the Grammys – and see themselves.”
Her performance doubled down on that message. While pregnant with twins, she rewrote the rules of gravity singing a medley of “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles” as women of colour raised their hands towards her. The performance ended with a recording of Bey saying, “If we’re going to heal, let it be glorious.”
Adele’s name was called for Song of the Year, then Record of the Year. And finally, after a flubbed tribute to the late George Michael, she was called up to the stage for Album of the Year. It became the third time Beyoncé had just missed out on the honour, after previous losses to Beck and Taylor Swift. Adele donated a chunk of her speech to calling out what many at-home watchers were already calling a gross injustice.
“I can’t possibly accept this award and I’m very humbled and I’m very grateful and gracious but my artist of my life is Beyoncé,” Adele said on stage. “And this album to me, the Lemonade album, was just so monumental, Beyoncé. It was so monumental and so well thought-out and so beautiful and soul-baring and we all got to see another side to you you don’t always let us see and we appreciate that. All us artists here adore you.”
Moments after Adele was announced the winner, Solange tweeted “Wuddup Frank” with a link to Frank Ocean’s Tumblr post calling out the Grammys producers for being out of touch, as Ocean wrote that Taylor Swift’s 1989 beating out Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly was “the most ‘faulty’ TV moment I’ve ever seen.”
I thought Adele was about to do the RIGHT thing and hand that Grammy over to its rightful owner (which would've been iconic).— tragic mulatto (@sweatpantspapi) February 13, 2017
In what universe does a Lemonade only take home one out of seven music award nominations across three different genres?— Craig Bro Dude (@CraigSJ) February 13, 2017
Perhaps it doesn’t matter that Beyoncé didn’t collect another “television award”, as Ocean calls them. But it still caused shockwaves on Twitter. It will take time to get over; however, in the words of Queen Bey: “If we’re going to heal, let it be glorious.”