Tuesday, February 7, 2023

The Grammys were once again marred by controversy. Here's what you need to know

 Even though Beyoncé has won 32 Grammys, more than any other artist in history, many people find it troubling that she hasn't won album of the year and has lost every time she has been nominated to white musicians.

The 65th Grammy Awards were back in full swing on Sunday, a night filled with shocking upsets, historic wins, tributes to artists like the late rapper Takeoff, and celebrations of hip-hop's 50th anniversary. Beyoncé was in the running for the top award once more. The show ended once more with another artist winning album of the year.

This year was widely regarded as an opportunity for the Grammys to present the superstar with a major award, particularly on a night when she had a chance to become the show's most decorated artist, which she did.

Instead, Harry Styles won, and those who thought Beyoncé should have won were hurt by a line from his acceptance speech. Who selects the winners of the Grammy Awards, how it has been interpreted, and what happened.

What makes the victory of Styles controversial?

Even Styles seemed surprised when his name was called when he was awarded the prize for his third album, "Harry's House." The British pop star was up against other industry titans: acts like Beyoncé, ABBA, Adele, Bad Bunny, Coldplay, Lizzo, Kendrick Lamar, and Brandi Carlile.

He commented, "This is really, really kind," as he accepted the award. This doesn't happen to people like me very often, so I'm just so grateful. Additionally, this is absolutely delightful. It means the world to me.

In the hours following his victory, his line, "this doesn't happen to people like me very often," was criticized.

Styles, who was born and raised in Northern England, became famous in 2010 when he auditioned for the talent competition show The X Factor, hosted by Simon Cowell. With One Direction, he finished third. He has won numerous Grammys for his solo work as well as Billboard-charting albums and singles.

Styles didn't say what he meant when he said what he did. It has been interpreted by some as his attempt to convey how far he had come since his youth. However, the remark is viewed by others as an illustration of white privilege.

Beyoncé is surrounded by fierce protection from many of her fans. After all, they are known as the Beyhive.

Even though Beyoncé has won 32 Grammys, more than any other artist in history, many people find it troubling that she hasn't won album of the year and has lost every time she has been nominated to white musicians.

Chris Richards, a pop music critic for the Washington Post, wrote a piece titled "Beyoncé just made Grammy history." Why does it seem as though she hasn't changed?” wrote that she feels like her historic achievement is empty.

Richards inquired, "Why does that feel like not enough?" Beyoncé, to her credit, keeps updating that peak with each new album because the Recording Academy has consistently failed to recognize Black artists at their creative peaks for the past twenty years and counting.

Similar criticism was made in other articles and online comments, with some pointing out that a Black woman hadn't won album of the year since Lauryn Hill did so in the late 1990s.

In a tweet, Penn State University doctoral student Ashley Smalls, who studies Black feminism and pop culture, criticized Styles' speech: "' This doesn't happen to people like me very often, which is crazy considering that a Black woman hasn't won that award since 1999.

How long has Beyonce attended the Grammys?

With 88 nominations, the artist is tied with her husband, Jay-Z, for the most all-time, but she has only won 32 times. Most importantly, Beyoncé has lost to Taylor Swift, Beck, Adele, and now Styles four times for album of the year.

Throughout her decades-long career, Beyoncé has been nominated in each of the most prestigious categories, but she has only won in these categories once, for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)."

Since Lauryn Hill's breakthrough album, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," in 1999, no Black woman has won album of the year. Jon Batiste, who won the award last year for his album "We Are," was the last Black person to do so.

Billboard reports that the Recording Academy has over 12,000 voting members. The big four categories—best new artist, record, song, and album of the year—are open to votes from all members. Members are also responsible for submitting nominations in their field of expertise and casting votes for the category winners.

Numerous artists have criticized the Grammy Awards' selection process. By 2025, the Recording Academy hopes to have 2,500 female members as part of a campaign to broaden its membership.

Both of them will embark on international tours. Styles will perform in Thailand next week and throughout the summer in Asia and Europe. Beyoncé's Renaissance tour will begin in Sweden in May and include performances throughout Europe and the United States.

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