Was Beyoncé Snubbed?

Photo posted by @beyonce on Instagram

Grammy weekend for the average stan on social media is a major weekend-long event. It starts out that Friday evening with sponsored parties and events leading up to Saturday all exclusive to Beyoncé and Jay-Z Roc Nation Brunch. The social media pages for these celebrities go crazy as their favorite celebrities talk and interact with each other all leading up to the big night. Big celebrity fandoms like Beliebers, Harrys and many more groups broadcast their support of the show as the discourse continues from 3 p.m. to the end of the award show that evening.

Photo from TheYBF.com

This year had an amazing lineup of artists nominated for top-tier awards that would be presented on the live Grammy award stage. Artists that dominated this year like Bad Bunny, Harry Styles and Lizzo were the talks of the night. But there is one veteran who stood out from the rest …Beyoncé. She was mentioned several times during the evening even when she was not present for the award show!

Jeffrey Azoff, Jenifer Mallory, President, Colombia Records, Harry Styles, Rob Stringer, Chairman, Sony Music Group, CEO, Sony Music Entertainment and Ron Perry, Chairman & CEO, Columbia Records
Photo from Variety.com

During the non-broadcasted segment of the Grammys, Beyoncé took home 3 awards:

  • Best R&B Song- “CUFF IT” 
  • Best Dance Recording- “BREAK MY SOUL” 
  • Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance- “PLASTIC OFF THE SOFA”

She was nominated for nine awards and only managed to take home four. But the coveted title of Album of the Year was the one award the Beehive was waiting for. The speculation came from the fandom that Beyoncé would not win the award due to the announcement of the Best Dance/Electronica Album being presented in the main show. Fans speculated that the Recording Academy was trying to help Beyoncé complete the record of winning the most Grammys in history that night, but suffice for the fact that for the fourth time in Grammy history, Beyoncé would lose this award. 

Beyoncé + Album of the Year?

This context is important to this subject due to the nature of what a “snub” truly is. By its very definition, a snub is to “rebuff, ignore, or spurn disdainfully,” according to Google. In this instance, I want to share some facts about the Grammys itself with its history with Beyoncé and Black artists. To this day, Beyoncé has been nominated for 88 Grammys and has taken home 32. She has also lost album of the year to some of her cult classic albums like “I AM… SASHA FIERCE” and “Lemonade.” Her upset today was “BEYONCÉ” the album lost after she started the shift of albums being released on a Friday due to marketing strategies. But these are just a small amount of the 100s of Black artists who have not received their accolades from the Recording Academy.

The Grammys’s Racist History

Since 1959, only three Black women have ever taken home the title of Album of the Year. In its entire history, only 11 Black artists have won the award and there have been many controversies from Mariah Carey to The Weeknd.

Photo from Net.ng

The discourse surrounding the award show and its racist history stemmed due to Beyoncé’s loss against Harry Styles and what this loss means for Black artists within the industry. A veteran like Beyoncé has been constantly under scrutiny from the general public and the Academy itself. An article a few days before the Grammys interviewed five voters from the Academy asking them who they wanted to win for Album of the Year. An anonymous voter caused an uproar on social media after his comments on who he thought should win the award.

According to an article by Alan Light from Variety Voter 4 states, “With Beyoncé, the fact that every time she does something new, it’s a big event and everyone’s supposed to quake in their shoes — it’s a little too portentous.” 

Photo posted by @beyonce on Instagram

These words, while they are an opinion, showcase some of the mentality of the voters who help curate these awards. With the added factor of marketing and knowing who will win these awards before the show, producers will do everything in their power to make sure that the ratings are consistent for their shows. This is why these stans tune in every year to watch and debate about their favorite artists winning these awards. Beyoncé was showcased by the Grammys in every aspect from promotion to during the show with her name being mentioned several times. By showcasing her wins and accolades without giving her the grand prize, this allowed viewers to feel like she doesn’t need to win Album of the Year especially since she’s won a bunch of other awards.

Why Does This Matter?

Black people and their talent have been used within this country since its inception. These artists put their art on the line every year for them to be critiqued and judged by an anonymous group of music veterans. In writing this article, I don’t believe that one artist should deserve to win an award more than other but showcase why the disparities in winning these awards matter. Giving out “baby prizes” to not receive the “grand prize” to an artist that has changed the culture of music as we know it today is wrong.  

Beyoncé is not the first nor only Black or Brown POC to experience this from the Academy, the difference is that she is herself. Her revered presence in the industry and the general public caused her moments to be talked about more. The Grammys consistently mentioning her breaking the award for the most Grammys ever won and her potential for winning Album of the Year (just for her to lose at the end of the night) showcased and proves that Black people are being used as props for the industry’s gain. I don’t know how Beyoncé feels nor will ever understand why artists submit their work to the Academy every year to be potentially disappointed. But I do know that Beyoncé Knowles Carter has once again stirred up conversation and discourse surrounding her every move. 

Photo posted by @beyonce on Instagram

What are your thoughts on the Grammys and Beyoncé? Let us know and tweet us @VALLEYmag


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