Last weekend's Grammy Awards were truly one to remember. Newcomers, Twenty One Pilots, accepted their first Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/ Group Performance in their underwear. Chance The Rapper accepted the award for Best New Artist. And a pregnant Beyonce rocked the Greek Theatre with a jaw-dropping performance.
But the real talk of the night came at the very end of the show when it was announced that Adele was awarded Album of the Year for "25," the highest of honors. And while initially there was much praise for Adele, as her album brought hits such as "Hello" and "When We Were Young," many were surprised as that Beyonce was also nominated in the same category for her critically acclaimed album "Lemonade."
Upon many critics of Beyonce's lack of recognition was Adele herself. “I can’t possibly accept this award, " Adele says, "The Lemonade album, Beyoncé, was so monumental, and so well thought out, and so beautiful and soul-bearing. And we all got to see another side of you that you don't always let us see, and we appreciate that. And all us artists adore you. You are our light. And the way that you make me and my friends feel, the way you make my black friends feel, is empowering, and you make them stand up for themselves. And I love you. I always have. And I always will." Beyonce couldn't help but tear up during Adele's acceptance speech.
Many people believe that Beyonce was snubbed her Grammy Award for two main reasons. The first, being that "Lemonade" became an extremely politically charged album. In her single "Formation," Beyonce made numerous references to Black Lives Matter and standing up against police brutality. Beyonce continued to express these beliefs during her Super Bowl Halftime performance last year, as that her and her backup dancers dressed in Black Panther attire.
The second is that the Grammys, and many other award shows, have had a long history of bias towards white performers. Another example of bias show panels is the #OscarsSoWhite boycott that occurred after the 2016 Academy Awards due to their lack of racial diversity in their nominees. The Grammys have also followed this same pattern. Leaving many to believe, including Adele herself, that Adele won Album of the Year because of a racially biased judging panel. And while Adele's "25" was a fantastic album, it was no "Lemonade," nor could it compare to her previous album "21"; and even she knew that.
However, Adele's acceptance speech and physically breaking her award to "share" it with Beyonce conveyed a huge message about white privilege and how we should award artist's for their content, not their race. This proved to be a big win for both the African American community and intersectional feminists. Because after all, winning an award will feel much better knowing that you earned it, not because of the color of your skin. Congratulations to all of Sunday night's winners!