Having been nominated for nine awards after the 2016 debut of her critically praised visual album “Lemonade,” Beyoncé won just two. The biggest awards of the night, Record of the Year and Album of the Year, went to Adele for the single “Hello” and her album “25.” The British singer used her acceptance speech for the latter to pay tribute to Beyoncé ― the “artist of her life” ― and say the award should have gone to her.
On Monday, Solange took to Twitter to share her thoughts in messages that have since been deleted. In one, she wrote that “there have only been two black winners in the last 20 years for album of the year” despite ceremonies featuring “over 200 black artist” performers.
The singer, who won a Grammy of her own on Sunday, added words of support for black artists: “create your own committees, build your own institutions, give your friends awards, award yourself, and be the gold you wanna hold[,] my g’s.”
Solange also shared a link to a post Frank Ocean recently added to his Tumblr page. In his note, Ocean addresses Grammy Awards producers Ken Ehrlich and David Wild, slamming the award ceremony for honoring singer Taylor Swift over rapper Kendrick Lamar in 2016 and inviting the pair to discuss with him “the cultural bias and general nerve damage” the show “suffers from.”
Solange’s since-deleted message was not quite factual. There have been four black Album of the Year winners in the past 20 years ― Herbie Hancock in 2008, Ray Charles in 2005, Outkast in 2004 and Lauryn Hill in 1999 ― along with a handful of performers on the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack, which won in 2002.
But the sentiment behind it is widespread. Many music fans, particularly young ones, do not see black artists receiving sufficient praise and recognition for pushing boundaries of creativity in the industry’s often blurry genres.
Your move, Grammys.