People love Beyoncé. She is talented, beautiful, and successful.
You don’t need her album sales to prove that. Just Google the singer and you’ll see many people holding her up as a modern-day deity, praising her for everything from her political statements (made while standing next to her husband, Jay Z, in most cases) to her elaborately staged photo shoots announcing to the world her new pregnancy with twins.
Adele won the night’s three biggest awards — Best Album of the Year, Best Record, and Song — but the singer seems to be an afterthought to many in the mainstream media.
The media and many in the public have been fawning over Beyoncé after Sunday night’s Grammy Awards ceremony — not that they hadn’t fawned before. While Adele won the night’s three biggest awards — Best Album of the Year, Best Record, and Song — the singer seems to be an afterthought to many in the mainstream media who were and are still writing about the event.
“It was Adele’s night. But it happened in Beyoncé’s world,” wrote the Los Angeles Times in a piece that praised Beyoncé as everything from “queenly” to “a study in composure.”
Meanwhile, outlets like The Daily Beast accused the Grammy Awards of racism — and their main evidence was the fact that Adele dared to win any awards over Beyoncé’s much-praised “Lemonade” album.
Even Adele likely felt the pressure of all this love for another artist, as she praised the singer in her acceptance speech for Best Album of the Year — for “25,” which includes hit singles like “Hello.”
“My artist of my life is Beyoncé,” said Adele in her acceptance speech. “This album for me — the ‘Lemonade’ album was so monumental, Beyoncé.”
Beyoncé has an enormous amount of talent, honed after years of performing as a member of Destiny’s Child as a very young woman. Her live performance at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night displayed not just her singing abilities, but her physical mastery of commanding a stage. She’s even someone who speaks often of her love of motherhood, not something that is typically heard out of the mouth of high-profile entertainers.
She and husband are also no doubt excellent marketers. They’ve branded themselves to the point where many believe them to be pure royalty.
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She said Sunday night: “It’s important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty, so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror, first through their own families — as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House, and the Grammys — and see themselves, and have no doubt that they’re beautiful, intelligent, and capable. This is something I want for every child of every race. And I feel it’s vital that we learn from the past and recognize our tendencies to repeat our mistakes.”
However — is Beyoncé the performer who most represents America and who deserves the tremendous praise she receives on a regular basis?
She’s not the “queenly” deity everyone believes her to be.
She’s a millionaire entertainer who stumped loudly for Hillary Clinton during the presidential race and likely has little in common with the everyday citizen. She even paid tribute to the Black Panthers when performing at the 2016 Super Bowl.
Still, on her pedestal she sits. She can’t even lose an award without many crying “foul!” and “racist!” To dare question her is to set about walking on thin ice with social media warriors and the fawning media.
The singer has also drawn criticism from many who believe her performances are too physically provocative and inappropriate. A live show from her is certainly different from that of Adele, who often relies mostly on her voice to win people over.
Beyoncé losing in the major Grammy categories proved one thing: She’s not the “queenly” deity that everyone believes her to be. Her music and messaging simply didn’t connect with voters the same way Adele’s did. Adele should feel no need to apologize for that.
And Beyoncé worshippers should also feel no need to accuse others of racism for not seeing the greatness they’ve no doubt partly conjured up in their own minds.