For Solange, there appears to be no direct correlation between winning and happiness. Despite taking home her first Grammy Award ever on Sunday night, the soulful singer is fuming over her sister Beyonce losing the Album of the Year award to Adele. Solange and Frank Ocean both blasted Grammy voters for constantly failing to bestow the show’s top honor to Black artists.
“There have only been two Black winners in the last 20 years for Album of the Year. There have been over 200 Black artists who have performed,” Solange noted in now deleted tweets. “Create your own committees, build your own institutions, give your friends awards, award yourself and be the gold you wanna hold my g’s,” she added.
sad Solange deleted her apt Grammys criticism but here it is again: “create your own commitees… award yourself.” pic.twitter.com/Dqm3cu6D83
— Jill Krajewski (@JillKrajewski) February 13, 2017
While we certainly understand Solange’s frustration with Lemonade not taking home top honors, her arguments are not exactly valid. Four Black artists have taken home the honor in the past 20 years including Herbie Hancock, OutKast, Lauryn Hill and Ray Charles. Beyonce has been nominated three times and lost the award, and Kendrick Lamar has been nominate twice and lost the award as well. To Solange’s point though, only ten Black artists have won since the inception of the award show and no one Black has had their named called since 2008.
Frank Ocean, whose Channel Orange album failed to take home the honor in 2013, is still upset over Lamar’s loss.
“I’VE ACTUALLY BEEN TUNING INTO CBS AROUND THIS TIME OF YEAR FOR A WHILE TO SEE WHO GETS THE TOP HONOR AND YOU KNOW WHAT’S REALLY NOT ‘GREAT TV’ GUYS? 1989 GETTING ALBUM OF THE YEAR OVER TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY. HANDS DOWN ONE OF THE MOST ‘FAULTY’ TV MOMENTS I’VE SEEN. BELIEVE THE PEOPLE. BELIEVE THE ONES WHO’D RATHER WATCH SELECT PERFORMANCES FROM YOUR PROGRAM ON YOUTUBE THE DAY AFTER BECAUSE YOUR SHOW PUTS THEM TO SLEEP. USE THE OLD GRAMOPHONE TO ACTUALLY LISTEN BRO, I’M ONE OF THE BEST ALIVE. AND IF YOU’RE UP FOR A DISCUSSION ABOUT THE CULTURAL BIAS AND GENERAL NERVE DAMAGE THE SHOW YOU PRODUCE SUFFERS FROM THEN I’M ALL FOR IT. HAVE A GOOD NIGHT.”
Many have speculated that Beyonce’s unapologetic celebration of Black and Southern culture on Lemonade is what led to her losing the award to the more traditional Adele. Adele used her acceptance speech to speak directly to those people and others of opposite mind about who the Album of the Year award really belongs to.
“But I can’t possibly accept this award. And I’m very humbled and I’m very grateful and gracious. But my artist of my life is Beyoncé. And this album to me, the Lemonade album, is just so monumental. Beyoncé, it’s so monumental. And so well thought out, and so beautiful and soul-baring and we all got to see another side to you that you don’t always let us see. And we appreciate that. And all us artists here adore you. You are our light,” Adele stated in a speech that will be remembered long after Grammy fever passes.
Do you agree? Are Black artists being overlooked for the Album of the Year award because they’re not as “mainstream”?