I can’t really pinpoint exactly when Adele realized that Beyoncé was robbed of a couple of Grammys, but as she took the stage during Sunday night’s award show to accept the Grammy for Album of the Year, she showed that solidarity was more important than a gold award.
Adele swept the categories in which both she and Beyoncé were nominated: Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Album of the Year, for 25 and “Hello.”
As she accepted her award for Album of the Year, with Beyoncé standing and cheering her on, Adele made everyone know that not only is she a member of the Beyhive, but she’s quite possibly its president.
“I can’t possibly accept this award,” Adele said. “I’m very humbled and very grateful and gracious, but my life is Beyoncé.”
“The Lemonade album, Beyoncé, was so monumental, and so well thought out, and so beautiful and soul-baring. And we all got to see another side of you that you don’t always let us see, and we appreciate that. And all us artists adore you. You are our light.
“And the way that 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. And I love you. I always have. And I always will,” she continued.
Unlike some other white people who may have beat out someone more deserving of the award (ahem, Macklemore beating Kendrick Lamar), Adele didn’t wait until the show was over to post an Instagram message to Beyoncé. By doing it publicly and acknowledging that the Grammys were so fucked up (not only in her opinion, but in plenty of others’), Adele realized that although she won the Grammy Electoral College vote, she knew she didn’t win the popular vote.
In Adele’s showing of solidarity, she cemented the idea that black and white women can actually big each other and lift each other up when others don’t. She knew the Recording Academy did Beyoncé wrong, and she wasn’t afraid to admit it.
During her backstage speech at the end of the show, Adele had even more to say, telling reporters:
I spoke to her before just to let her know how honored and privileged I felt to be nominated alongside her, and we spoke afterward as well and she was very gracious and humble, as always, as we’ve come to expect. And the reason I felt the need to say something is because my album of the year is Lemonade. She is my icon of my whole life.
I felt like it was her time to win. What the fuck does she have to do to win Album of the Year? That’s how I feel.
In the back of my mind, I’m quite sure Adele realizes what Beyoncé has to do to win AOTY. Especially since Adele also realized that the Lemonade album meant more to her black friends than it did to her. Unfortunately, Adele didn’t come out and say that maybe Beyoncé needs to be a white woman to win.
As Adele wrapped up her backstage speech, she went on to say that yes, she is a Beyoncé stan: “I don’t take any fucking shit when it comes to anyone not liking Beyoncé. You can’t be in my life. You simply can’t.”
Maybe the Grammys should take a cue from Adele, because something tells me Beyoncé won’t be in their lives for another show.