Yes, Beyoncé made history. But Grammy voters are still ignoring her where it matters.
Beyoncé once again released one of the best albums of all time with last year's "Renaissance." And while she set a Grammys record, winning more lifetime trophies than any other performer, the Recording Academy is still ignoring her influence.
She took home four trophies Sunday in dance and R&B categories but was snubbed in the major races she most deserved to win. Despite a record total of 32 Grammys, Beyoncé has never won album of the year, a blasphemous omission considering her unrivaled discography. Even Adele felt the need to apologize when her album "25" beat Beyoncé's "Lemonade" at the 2017 Grammys. And it was especially disappointing given the influence of her latest album.
Beyoncé's losses this year in the top three categories – album, record and song of the year – are disappointing but not all that surprising in an industry that has made exclusion of Black artists feel inevitable.
"Renaissance," an unapologetic, genre-bending album that celebrated Black and queer joy while reconciling with grief and loss and honoring house and dance hall music, is trendsetting and defines today's cultural moment in a way that no other album of the year nominee has.
More: Beyoncé is officially queen of the Grammys, breaks Georg Solti's record for all-time wins
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Harry Styles, who took home the trophy for album of the year, said in his acceptance speech that "there is no such thing as best." Lizzo added during hers for record of the year: "You clearly are the artist of our lives."
In some ways, the wide range of winners and nominees alike this year symbolizes the breadth of talent in the music industry, regardless of musical preference. But the repeated hesitancy to dole out big accolades and resort to giving mostly R&B, dance and rap awards to a woman who was repeatedly dubbed "the GOAT" during Sunday's show exemplifies a frustrating pattern: Grammy voters talking a big game about recognizing Black artists' impact but failing to back it up.
Beyoncé's 'Renaissance' album review: Unapologetic and raunchy as she beckons us to the dance floor
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It's difficult to categorize the 2023 Grammy Awards as a diversity win or fail. Important moments for diverse artists included Kim Petras becoming what is believed to be the first openly transgender artist to win a Grammy, Dr. Dre's honor with his eponymous Global Impact Award, Lizzo championing joy and body positivity, and standout performances from Bad Bunny and by the pioneering stars of hip hop in a star-studded 50th anniversary tribute to the genre.
But Beyoncé has long been viewed as a barometer for the industry's treatment of Black artists, and her shutout in the major categories is an unwelcome reminder that many of the most influential artists are not getting their proper due.
Beyoncé deserved the 2023 album of the year award for a culture-defining piece of art. It's embarrassing that the industry still isn't properly recognizing her for it.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Beyonce album of the year snub proves Grammys still ignore her impact