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The 65th Grammys were collaborative, witty, heartbreaking and surprisingly touching for a music awards show often defined by its inability to keep up with the times – which is why Beyonce’s insulting snub to the album’s year was all the more shocking and like an indictment against the Recording Academy itself. Why is music’s biggest night so reluctant to give black women their due?
Renaissance, Beyoncé’s seventh album, was a seductive club banger with heady lyricism and deep homages to the queer community. In a rolling stone review, writer Mankaprr Conteh wrote that the album “crosses the ages of dance music to evoke the superhuman confidence and profoundly human connection of an evening. The thematic triumph of the author’s seventh album is this union of the extraordinary and the earthly through him, a duality that lives on Renaissance-inspired dance floors and in all of us,” she added.”Renaissance channels the club’s energy and vanity into a show of self-love.
On the technical side, Renaissance succeeded both as a dance classic and as an iconic piece of music history. This was evident when Beyoncé won Best Dance/Electronic Album, made history as the most Grammy-winning artist of all time, and still found time to thank the queer community. to have invented the genre. But even with her wins at the ceremony, Beyoncé’s lack of recognition for Album of the Year proves that the Recording Academy still lacks a fundamental understanding of the artists that drive her to improve.
We have been here before. Beyoncé stood in a cheering crowd as Beck (2015), Adele (2017) and now Harry Styles (2023) won an award she deserved. But on a night when the contribution of black artists to music history was so well showcased, Beyoncé’s snub is particularly infuriating. Black artists have defined all genres of music. But music’s greatest night was defined by its refusal to give black art the praise it deserves. Beyoncé deserved better. We have all done it.