Beyoncé opened the Grammy awards with a memorable performance last night, one that was a bookend on the amazing era of creativity that grew from her album Lemonade. While, the artist won two awards for the ground-breaking visual album, surprising many, she didn’t win the organization’s top award for Album of the Year, an award that went to Adele, who herself expressed disappointment Beyoncé didn’t take home the award.
“I thought it was her year. What the fuck does she have to do to win Album of the Year?” said Adele during a backstage interview. This year marks the third time Beyoncé has lost out on Album of the Year. In 2010, I am Sasha Fierce lost out to Taylor Swift’s Fearless, and then in 2015, Beck’s album Morning Phase took home the top prize over her eponymous album.
Adele on Beyoncé backstage: “I thought it was her year. What the fuck does she have to do to win album of the year?”
— Andrew Barker (@barkerrant) February 13, 2017
Making her own not so quiet statement on the awards, Solange, whose “Cranes in the Sky” took home the award for Best R&B Performance, checked in today (February 13) on Twitter, implying she may have had enough with the Grammy awards.
Simply writing “wuddup frank,” she also linked to a Frank Ocean‘s Tumbler post (below), in which he pushed back on show producer Ken Ehrlich and writer David Wild’s claims in a recent podcast claiming Ocean wasn’t attending the 2017 awards because he was unhappy with the negotiations related to his 2013 Grammy performance.
— solange knowles (@solangeknowles) February 13, 2017
She added in since deleted Tweets, “there have only been two black winners in the last 20 years for album of the year. there have been over 200 black artist who have perform. create your own committees, build your own institutions, give your friends awards, award yourself, and be the gold you wanna hold my g’s”
In the Tumblr post Solange linked to, Ocean said his decision not to submit was unrelated to the 2013 event, and went on to criticize the academy’s choice for 2016 Album of the Year. “u know what’s really not ‘great TV’ guys?” wrote Ocean. “[Taylor Swift’s] 1989 getting album of the year over [Kendrick Lamar’s] To Pimp A Butterfly. Hands down one of the most ‘faulty’ TV moments I’ve seen. Believe the people.”
Ocean, along with Kanye West and Justin Beiber had let it be known prior to the event they were boycotting the event either because they viewed it as culturally irrelevant or problematic in its treatment of black artists. Drake wasn’t able to attend because of a concert conflict, which some say wasn’t accidental.
In the podcast, Ehrlich and Wild were responding to an interview Ocean gave the NY Times in November 2016, in which he said he intentionally chose not to submit Blonde for Grammy consideration because of the organization’s track record for not awarding black artists.
“It just doesn’t seem to be representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down,” explained Ocean in the interview. “I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated. I’d rather this be my Colin Kaepernick moment for the Grammys than sit there in the audience.”
A total of ten black artists have won Album of the Year since the Grammys began giving out the award in 1959, and only Stevie Wonder has taken it home more than twice. A black artist hasn’t won Album of the Year since 2008, which went to jazz musician Herbie Hancock’s album of Joni Mitchell covers. Lauryn Hill was the most recent black woman to win Album of the Year, an award she took home in 1999, close to 20 years ago.
Check out Ocean’s entire Tumblr post below.