By Elizabeth Jancsy `18
The biggest names in Hollywood and music packed the Staples Center Sunday night for the 59th year of The Grammy Awards. The show featured a variety of performances and a number of winners. However, it was clear there were truly only two contenders Sunday night: Adele and Beyoncé.
After a groundbreaking year for both female artists, as Adele and Beyoncé went head-to-head in four categories Sunday night. They were both up for for the coveted award of Album of the Year. Adele released her album 25 on November 20, 2015, featuring her hit single of the album, “Hello.” The album was a massive success ,following that of her second studio album 21, which eventually became certified diamond and sold over 10 million copies in the US.
Beyoncé released her album Lemonade, along with a full visual album on April 23, 2016. In typical Beyoncé fashion, she released not only the recorded tracks but also a full music video to accompany each song, following in the style of her 2013 self-titled album. With hits such as “Formation” and “Hold Up,” Lemonade sold over 1.52 million copies in the U.S.
Receiving such high praise for both pieces of work, it can be hard to judge which album is worth the most recognition from music’s most prestigious awards ceremony. It seems The Grammy’s didn’t have a hard time deciding, as it became evident as the night progressed that Adele would snag each category away from Beyoncé.
Both women were nominated for Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance. Adele won every category and many people were not happy about it. Beyoncé is no stranger to losing the Album of the Year title, as she lost it against Beck in 2013 with her previous album. But after taking the loss again this year, many fans are questioning where the respect is that Beyoncé deserves.
Following the biggest upset of the night, The Rolling Stone released an article with an opinion on why Adele won Album of the Year over Beyoncé. They suggested reasons such as presentation becasue Adele released her album the old fashion way in a standard and non-downloadable way, while Beyonce streamed her music off the music site Tidal.
This relates to another suggestion that the Grammy voters are simply old and therefore are less connected to the powerful and culturally significant tracks Beyoncé put out, compared to the timeless messages of Adele. They also suggest it may have come down to facetime. Adele and Beyoncé both went on tour this past year to promote their albums, with Adele playing over 107 shows, as opposed tto Beyonce’s 49. Nobody can say for sure the reasons why Adele was able to pull the win over the Lemonade movement; not even Adele wasn’t sure how she beat ‘Queen Bey’.
“But I can’t possibly accept this award. And I’m very humbled and I’m very grateful and gracious.The 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,” said Adele as she accepted Album of the Year.
It cannot be an easy task to decide between two of the greatest albums this generation has been exposed to, but there has been widespread agreement that Adele’s win was Beyoncé‘s win. Adele dedicated her win to Beyoncé, and even broke off a piece of the award for her.