For as long as I can remember, I have sat in front of the TV to see if my favorite artists would win in their categories during awards season. While some artists rightfully get their flowers each year, it seems like Black and other minority artists are constantly snubbed of these coveted awards.
At this year's 66th annual Grammy Awards, rapper Jay-Z accepted his Dr. Dre Global Impact Award and had a lot to say about his feelings toward the award show. “I don’t want to embarrass this young lady, but she has more Grammys than everyone and has never won Album of the Year,” said Jay-Z when talking about his superstar wife, Beyoncé.
While this comment shocked a lot of people, it was eye-opening. Beyoncé — who is by far the most decorated artist of our generation with 32 Grammy awards — never received the Recording Academy's most prestigious award.
In 2023, Beyonce was nominated for nine awards, including AOTY, Song of the Year and Record of the Year. She went home with four Grammys, the only win broadcasted on TV being Best R&B song.
In 2016, Beyoncé wrote her monumental sixth studio album “Lemonade.” This album embodies Queen Bey’s journey with her husband's infidelity and her journey with her racial identity. Associated Press even named it their album of the decade. Yet she was not given AOTY for this prized work.
When singer/songwriter Adele went up to accept her Album of the Year award for “25,” she immediately praised “Lemonade,” shocked that Beyoncé did not (finally) receive the esteemed prize.
“The Lemonade album was just so monumental, Beyoncé, it was so monumental,” said Adele. “The way 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.”
Adele's decision to stand up for Beyoncé and Black artists while accepting her major award took a lot of courage and received applause from many. But nothing changed since.
Beyoncé, unfortunately, is not the only Black artist to go unrecognized by the Grammys. According to Business Insider, of the 66 total Grammy award ceremonies, only 11 Black artists received the award for Album of the Year. Even more shocking, only three of those winners have been Black women.