Before the Grammys even happened on Sunday, most people had done the math and realized the main storyline would be Beyoncé vs. Adele. They were both up for all the big awards, and they’re obviously both huge fucking stars and queens and magical unicorn women.
Both of their performances ended up as some of the most talked about, but for different reasons. While singing a tribute to George Michael, Adele had to stop the song and start over because she was out of tune. She said “fuck,” which we kind of love, but also like, get your shit together. You had one job. Whatever. Beyoncé, on the other hand, made news because she literally looked like some kind of pregnant alien goddess while performing a medley of songs from Lemonade, causing viewers everywhere to wonder for the umpteenth time whether she is, in fact, human.
Both of them won smaller awards in individual genre categories, so neither was going home empty-handed, but Beyoncé came up short at the end of the show when Adele won Album of the Year. Knowing the Beyhive would annihilate her if she did literally anything else but dedicate the award to Beyoncé, she used both acceptance speeches to talk about how amazing Bey is. Adele was crying. Bey was crying. We weren’t crying, you were crying!
Obviously Beyoncé deserved to win. This is not an opinion. This is not a bias. This is an indisputable, non-alternative fact.
Years from now, there will be a few moments that will stand out in history—moments you’ll always remember precisely where you were and what you were doing when they happened. When Michael Jackson died. When Barack Obama won the presidential election. When Beyoncé released Lemonade.
Not content to shock us all with a surprise album, Beyoncé came out of the woodwork and did what no one other artist has ever accomplished: an hour-long visual experience that celebrated and empowered black women, forcing us to acknowledge for the first time that Beyoncé is, in fact, a black woman.
In addition to offering racial commentary and opening up about her struggles following Jay Z’s (reported) infidelity, Beyoncé used Lemonade to pose important questions to the world: What’s worse, being jealous or crazy? Who is Becky with the good hair?
In a situation where most would have shut down and shied away from the public, Beyoncé aired it all out for the world to see. It was healing, rather than vindictive. She did it all while bringing black culture to the forefront of pop culture, exposing it to people who would have otherwise pretended it didn’t exist, only to try to take credit for it a few years down the line. She did all that, and then gave us an hour of startlingly beautiful visuals—and many Halloween costume ideas—on top of it.
The irony of Beyoncé losing to a white woman was not lost on anyone in the audience last night. After last year’s #OscarsSoWhite fiasco and the current racial climate in general, you would hope that the Grammys could have been one of the first award shows to get their shit together and serve as an example for the rest of the industry of what a truly unbiased event could be. But once again, a woman of color was shoved into the background when she deserved to shine. And when that woman is Beyoncé, we will not take that lying down. Nobody puts Bey in a corner, not even the Grammys.
It goes without saying that Adele is wildly talented. None of this is a slight on her or 25, an amazing album in its own right and absolute shoe-in any other year. But everyone in attendance knew Beyoncé should have won that award. Beyoncé knew that Beyoncé should have won. Becky, whoever she is, knew that Beyoncé should have won.
In a moment that easily could have made or broken her career, Adele used her acceptance speech to go full Cady Heron and essentially give her
spring fling crown Grammy to Beyoncé.
You know what they say: when life hands you lemons, make Lemonade and then watch as it gets absolutely snubbed by the Recording Academy. Our thoughts about the entire debacle can be summed up, once again, by Adele.
To Beyoncé, to Adele, and to all the strong women in the music industry and life in general who put up with more shit than they should ever have to:
But no matter who you are, no matter who you wanted to win, just remember that nothing can ever be worse than Taylor Swift winning for 1989 last year.