Beyoncé again released one of the greatest albums of all time with last year’s “Renaissance.” And though she set a Grammys record, winning more lifetime trophies than any other performer, the Recording Academy is still unaware of her impact.
She won four trophies on Sunday in the dance and R&B categories, but was snubbed in the major races she most deserved to win. Despite a record total of 32 Grammys, Beyoncé has never won Album of the Year, a blasphemous omission given her unrivaled discography. Even Adele felt the need to apologize when her album ’25’ beat Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ at the 2017 Grammys. And that was especially disappointing given how influential her latest album was.
Beyoncé’s losses this year in the top three categories — album, record and song of the year — are disappointing, but not so surprising in an industry that has made the exclusion of black artists inevitable.
“Renaissance,” an unapologetically gender-bending album that celebrates the joy of black and gay people while reconciling grief and loss and honoring house and dancehall music, is forward-thinking and defining today’s cultural moment. in a way that no other album of the year nominee has.
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Harry Styles, who won the album of the year trophy, said in his acceptance speech that “there is no such thing as the best”. Lizzo added during hers for record of the year, “You are clearly the artist of our lives.”
In some ways, the wide array of winners and nominees this year symbolizes the breadth of talent in the music industry, regardless of musical preference. But the repeated reluctance to dole out big accolades and resort primarily to R&B, dance and rap awards to a woman who was repeatedly dubbed “the GOAT” on Sunday’s show illustrates a frustrating pattern. : Grammy voters are talking about a big game over the recognition of black artists. impact, but without accompanying it with concrete support.
Review of Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” album:Shameless and raunchy as she invites us onto the dance floor
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It’s hard to classify the 2023 Grammy Awards as a victory or a failure for diversity. Significant moments for various artists include Kim Petras becoming what is believed to be the first openly transgender artist to win a Grammy, honoring Dr. Dre with her eponymous Global Impact award, Lizzo championing joy and body positivity. and standout performances by Bad Bunny and by the pioneering stars of hip hop in a tribute to the genre’s 50th anniversary.
But Beyoncé has long been seen as a barometer of the industry’s treatment of black artists, and her shutout in major categories is an unwelcome reminder that many of the most influential artists aren’t getting their due.
Beyoncé deserved the 2023 Album of the Year award for a culture-defining work of art. It’s embarrassing that the industry still doesn’t recognize it properly.
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