Adele wins top Gram­mys, but pays trib­ute to Bey­oncé

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - DAVID BAUDER

In an ex­tra­or­di­nary mo­ment be­tween the mu­sic in­dus­try’s top fe­male artists, Adele beat Bey­oncé for three of the top Grammy Awards — then said her com­peti­tor de­served at least one of them.

The Gram­mys fea­tured mem­o­rable per­for­mances by the likes of Bruno Mars and A Tribe Called Quest, big vic­to­ries by Chance the Rap­per and David Bowie, and some un­usual flubs Sun­day, but they were over­shad­owed by Adele’s tri­umph and how she re­sponded. The Record­ing Academy did noth­ing to calm crit­i­cism that black artists are over­shad­owed in ma­jor awards by more con­ser­va­tive white mu­si­cians.

Adele’s “Hello” won Gram­mys for song and record of the year and its cre­ator flashed pride: she called it “my favourite song I’ve ever done.”

Her win for al­bum of the year was more of a sur­prise. “25” was a com­mer­cial smash but Bey­oncé’s “Le­mon­ade” won wider ac­claim as an artis­tic state­ment. In tears, Adele thanked the academy for the award and poignantly talked about re­claim­ing a bit of her­self af­ter hav­ing dif­fi­cul­ties with moth­er­hood. Then she ad­dressed Bey­oncé, prais­ing “Le­mon­ade” as mon­u­men­tal, beau­ti­ful and soul-bar­ing.

“The rea­son I felt I had to say some­thing was my al­bum of the year is ‘Le­mon­ade,’” Adele said back­stage later. “She is my icon of my whole life.”

She told of prac­tis­ing a Spice Girls song for a school as­sem­bly grow­ing up in Bri­tain un­til her friends turned her on to Bey­oncé’s singing on the 1997 Des­tiny’s Child song “No No No.”

“It’s her time to win,” Adele said. “My view is kind of what the (ex­ple­tive) does she have to do to win al­bum of the year? I felt this al­bum showed another side to her that we haven’t seen and I felt blessed to be brought into that sit­u­a­tion.”

If that’s how Adele felt, many Grammy Award crit­ics are likely to chime in. One prom­i­nent black artist, Frank Ocean, did not sub­mit his work for Grammy con­sid­er­a­tion this year and crit­i­cized the academy for giv­ing its top al­bum award to Tay­lor Swift over Ken­drick La­mar last year. Kanye West and Drake did not at­tend the Gram­mys this year.

Bey­oncé won two Gram­mys and her vis­ually ar­rest­ing per­for­mance of “Love Drought” and “Sand­cas­tles” won ac­claim Sun­day. Per­haps sens­ing it would be her last chance, she took the time to ex­plain her thoughts be­hind “Le­mon­ade” upon win­ning the Grammy for best ur­ban con­tem­po­rary al­bum.

“My in­ten­tion for the film and al­bum is to cre­ate a body of work that would give voice to our pain, our strug­gles, our doubts and our his­tory, to con­front is­sues that make us un­com­fort­able,” said Bey­oncé, who is preg­nant with twins.

It’s (Bey­oncé’s) time to win. My view is kind of what the (ex­ple­tive) does she have to do to win al­bum of the year?

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