In an engaging piece via Time, writer Maura Johnston notes that Adele’s post-Grammy press session Sunday night was stood out for one very interesting reason.
The acclaimed British singer, who took home five major awards including Album, Record, and Song of the Year, straight up admitted that she didn’t deserve at least one of those honors.
“I felt like it was her time to win,” Adele said backstage. “What the f— does SHE have to do to win Album of the Year?”
The “she” Adele was referring to was Beyoncé, who for the second time played the bridesmaid role in the Big Four category despite releasing a critically acclaimed album that showcased her artistic breadth and all-encompassing vision. Beyoncé is hardly the only artist whose of-the-moment artistic achievements have been under-heralded by the Academy. Take the case of David Bowie, who finally won a Grammy for his musical output last night for Blackstar. That it took the boundary-pushing, shape-shifting Bowie so many years—and, more notably, his death in January 2016—to finally be given his due also speaks to one strand of the conservatism that has plagued the Grammys for decades.
READ RELATED STORY: BEYONCÉ’S 2017 GRAMMY PERFORMANCE IS ALREADY ONE FOR THE AGES (WATCH)
But there are other factors that make the Lemonade snub troubling. Lemonade, which came out last April via HBO special, Tidal stream, and iTunes Store download, topped multiple critics’ best-of lists, sold a boatload of copies in an increasingly stream-reliant moment for the music industry, incorporated music and literature and film references from across the pop spectrum, and spoke about black womanhood in a way that reframed the mainstream. It had the ambition of the most grandiose albums without its songs collapsing under the weight of its intentions; it had ballads and rockers and down-home country songs about growing up. It seemed like a shoo-in for Album of the Year, particularly after the outcry following her last album, 2013’s Beyoncé, losing out on that trophy to Beck’s perfectly fine Morning Phase.
Yet Adele triumphed, for reasons that probably make sense to individual Grammy voters but paint a depressing picture in the aggregate. 25, which came out in November 2015, has been a blockbuster since the moment its first single, the Song and Record of the Year winner “Hello,” was released.
Yes, it’s past time for us to collectively ask “What the hell is going on, here?” You can read the rest of this Time article by Maura Johnston at MSN News.