Adele didn’t make her speech for Album of the Year at the Grammys about herself. In the middle of her speech, she broke out in tears and said that Beyoncé was the one who should have won Album of the Year for her incredible visual album, Lemonade, which was an important moment for both women of color and for black culture.
The “Hello” singer further proved that by breaking her Grammy Award and offering half to the singer. On Sunday night, Adele said that the honor should have gone to her idol instead.
“I can’t possibly accept this award, and I’m very humble and very grateful, but my artist of my life is Beyoncé,” the 25-year-old singer said. “This album for me, the Lemonade album, was so monumental.”
“The way you make you and my friends feel, the way you make my black friends feel is empowering,” she continued. “And they stand up for themselves. And I love you. I always have.”
She admitted backstage that “a little piece of me did die inside” when her name was called out instead of Beyoncé’s. Adele swept the awards ceremony when she took home five Grammys altogether – the first time that anyone has won the top three awards twice. Beyoncé was nominated nine times, but only took home two awards, one for Best Music Video and Best Urban Contemporary Album.
2013 - mumford over frank— very festive tweets (@adam_lewis) February 13, 2017
2014 - daft punk over kendrick
2015 - beck over beyonce
2016 - taylor over kendrick
2017 - adele over beyonce
When you realize that Prince, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Kanye West have never won an album of the year Grammy but Taylor Swift has 2. pic.twitter.com/pt7kgR4LTy— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) February 12, 2017
While Adele paid tribute to Beyoncé and her album in her speech, Taylor Swift made it about herself at the 2016 Grammy Awards. She also made good use of her ongoing feud with rapper Kanye West when she beat out rapper Kendrick Lamar for Album of the Year. Swift, 26, addressed the elephant in the room during her acceptance speech.
The pop star picked up the award for her album, 1989, and she made sure to throw plenty of shade at Kanye, who took credit for her success in his song “Famous,” reports JustJared.com.
“And as the first women to win Album of the Year at the Grammys twice, I want to say to the young woman out there, there are going to be people along the way who try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame,” Swift said. “But if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going, you will look around and you will know it was you and the people who love you who put you there, and that will be the greatest feeling in the world.”
But, not everyone was happy that Swift won Album of the Year at the 2016 Grammys. Many of them thought that Kendrick Lamar should have won over Swift. Others didn’t like that Swift made it about herself and that she was promoting feminism when it was clear that a large team of men helped her produce and co-write her first-ever pop album.
Now, this year, many viewers felt Beyoncé deserved to win Album of the Year for Lemonade, an album that it’s more than just another visual album from the singer. It also addresses infidelity, fidelity, feminism, and racial identity, reports NBC News.
Without making this debate, however, Adele made it clear that Beyoncé was the one who should have won. This comes after singer Frank Ocean wrote an open letter on Tumblr to Grammy producers, accusing them of “cultural bias and general nerve damage,” citing Taylor Swift’s win over Kendrick Lamar.
Adele did what Taylor Swift would never do at the Grammys or any award ceremony for that matter. She didn’t make it about herself. Though she was elated that 25 was honored for Album of the Year, she knew that it belonged to someone much more deserving.
Meanwhile, Swift took the opportunity to bash a hip-hop artist while she ironically beat out another hip-hop artist, which is why her speech sparked so much conversation and backlash last year. Now, the Grammys have sparked even more conversation with people wondering why white artists continue to get awarded over black artists who have done that same work on another level.
[Featured images by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]