And the winners were...
The Grammys: Adele, Beyoncé, and the case for another boycott
“It was Adele’s night. But it happened in Beyoncé’s world,” said Mikael Wood in the Los Angeles Times. At the end of a four-hour ceremony in which Adele won all the biggest honors, including Song of the Year and Album of the Year, the 28-year-old British singer helped make the resulting snub of Beyoncé’s more acclaimed Lemonade into the story people will remember about the 2017 Gram mys. “I can’t possibly accept this award,” she said as she stood onstage cradling the album trophy. Then she praised Lemonade as the superior record, addressed Beyoncé in the audience by saying, “You are our light,” and finally broke the trophy in two.
“Grammys, please, please, please, stop doing this to Adele”—and to artists like her, said Carl Wilson in Slate.com. More so even than the Oscars, the Grammys have a history of favoring white performers and—especially given how many white recording executives owe their careers to black music culture—it’s time the Recording Academy fixed its voting process. Adele’s gesture brought back memories of similar apologies choked out by recent white winners Macklemore and Beck, whose Grammy victories might help explain why pioneering black artists like Frank Ocean and Kanye West boycotted Sunday’s ceremony. This year, Lemonade was “the better and more ambitious record by any accounting,” said Amanda Petrusich in The New Yorker. Grammy voters are traditionalists, though, and they chose Adele’s “unerringly pleasant” pop balladry.
Rap and R&B fans can’t be the only listeners angered by Sunday’s results, said Craig Jenkins in Vulture.com. After stiffing David Bowie for 32 years, the academy posthumously awarded his album Blackstar most every rock award available, shutting out younger contenders. And country fans won’t like that even one honor went to the a cappella group Pentatonix. To the academy’s credit, Chance the Rapper—an innovator who self-releases his music—won two big awards, including Best Rap Album. Still, that windfall couldn’t erase “the nagging sense” that “a landmark year for black music” had gone undercelebrated. “Perhaps it’s time for a bigger walkout.”
Album of the Year: 25, Adele
Record of the Year: Hello, Adele
Best Pop Vocal Album: 25, Adele
Best New Artist:Chance the Rapper
Best Rap Album: Coloring Book, Chance the Rapper
Best Urban Contemporary Album: Lemonade, Beyoncé
Best Music Video: “Formation,” Beyoncé