Race impacts race for Grammys
Adele beats Beyoncé at Grammy Awards for ‘Best Album of the Year Award’
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The two singers were both nominated for song of the year, record of the year, and album of the year. When Adele stepped on stage to receive the Grammy for “Best Album of the Year,” she dedicated the award to the singer she has adored since the age of 11, Beyoncé.
“The artist of my life is Beyoncé, and this album to me, the ‘Lemonade’ album, was just so monumental. You are our light. And the way you make me and my friends feel – the way you make my black friends feel – is empowering, and you make them stand up for themselves,” Adele said.
Although “Lemonade” was very popular amongst Beyoncé fans and many music critics, the racial themes and imagery cause listeners to wonder if the project was leaning towards a certain population.
“Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ made a lot of people uncomfortable, because it is so political, so spiritual, so unapologetically black, and so brutally honest about love, self-love, trust, betrayal,” said Kevin Powell, author of the memoir The Education of Kevin Powell to CNN.
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences does not release who is a part of their voting body, but they do claim to have a diverse range of people varying in gender, race, or age to reflect upon the music industry’s musical artists.
“American music would not exist without the massive influence of black people and black music, but that is not evidenced by who gets the big awards year to year, with few exceptions,” said Neil Portnow, Recording Academy president to Variety.
In the end, the Recording Academy controls the final say within the award winners.
“Most people don’t care who sings what. There is no ‘black music’ or ‘white music.’ Make good art and people will listen to it,” said Harvey Mason Jr., a six-time Grammy Award-winning songwriter, to CNN.