Despite the fact that nearly everyone expected Beyoncé's album Lemonade to take home the statue, Adele won Album of the Year for 25 at the 2017 Grammy Awards. "I can't possibly accept this award," she told the audience at the 2017 Grammys. The British-born singer gave us a fabulous album — what would we sing in the shower without those first crooning notes of "Hello"? But 25 was not Lemonade. Beyoncé's sixth studio album came with its own HBO film, and it was somehow a cohesive unit of cinema, music, and political statement.
This is Beyoncé's 3rd nomination for Album of The Year. In 2010, her album I Am... Sasha Fierce lost to Taylor Swift's Fearless. (This was the year that Kanye West stepped onstage at the VMAs to say the now famous words, "Imma let you finish but...") In 2015, she lost yet again to Beck. It seemed that 2017 was going to be the year Beyoncé finally took home the coveted award. Even Adele seemed just as shocked as the rest of us — and, in case you were wondering, the internet already made the joke that the singer Kanye'd herself.
Adele didn't just praise Beyoncé onstage. After her win, she told the press that Beyoncé has shaped her life ever since Destiny's Child's "No No No." "The way that I felt when I first heard 'No No No' was exactly the same as I felt when I first heard Lemonade last year...For her to be making such great music for that long of a period affects all of us. It's not just me. There are friendships that I have that are completely defined by Beyoncé's sound," Adele proclaimed. "I don't take any fucking shit when it comes to anyone not liking Beyoncé. You can't be in my life, seriously." She added, "I think it was her time to win. I feel like, what the fuck will she have to do to win Album of the Year?" Twitter users have also pointed out that the award hasn't gone to a Black woman in almost two decades.
In fact, only three Black artists have ever won Album of the Year — Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and Lauryn Hill. Much of the internet is incensed at the loss — as they well should be — but many have pointed out that the album's loss doesn't negate its impact. It doesn't need a Grammy award to be the true album of the year, although it seems that recognition is well past due for Queen Bey, who has worked in the industry for well over two decades now.
Given the powerful message of Lemonade, though, Adele's win feels particularly pointed. Twitter user Aaryn Green pointed out that it's actually ironic.
Adele won the award, but Beyoncé won the night, the year, the everything. Even Adele agrees.