Opinion: Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ was MY album of the year

Elly Taylor/The Occidental

Growing up, I didn’t care about the Grammy Awards. I watched the broadcast and found it entertaining, but I wasn’t invested. This year I was.

As I sat with two friends in the library on the night of the 65th Grammy Awards, I looked down at my Twitter feed and read that Harry Styles had won Album of the Year for “Harry’s House.” I put my phone down on the table, went for a walk and took some deep breaths before returning to reality. Beyoncé’s “Renaissance,” an album celebrating the Black queer community, lost.

Later, I looked up Styles’ acceptance speech and was mortified by what I heard.

“This doesn’t happen to people like me very often and this is so, so nice. Thank you,” Styles said.

I don’t care if you think that Styles had good intentions while accepting his award. Styles’ words are empty especially given the fact that he is the 33rd white man to have won Album of the Year in the Recording Academy’s more than 60-year history.

I was so upset. “Renaissance,” the album that made me feel loved and celebrated as a queer person, lost to someone who had just stated that “people like me” don’t receive their flowers? I was shocked.

As a queer person, I felt drawn and connected to “Renaissance” as the songs are a vibrant celebration of queerness and dance floors. This album is impactful as it celebrates the Black queer people who founded house music. Made to make you move on the dance floor as if you have never danced before, “Renaissance” takes influences from R&B, dance-pop and electronic music. Through “Renaissance,” Beyoncé paid homage to the intricacies of queerness while highlighting a specific part of the queer community and celebrating it in a mainstream fashion.

But why should Beyoncé win another Grammy? Beyoncé won four Grammys that night: Best Dance Performance, Best Dance/Electronica Album, Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song. She even made history of winning the most Grammys ever after winning her 32nd award. She already has enough Grammys, you might say.

Out of the 91 Grammy categories, the big four are Best New Artist, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Album of the Year. Out of her 32 Grammy awards, Beyoncé has been only won one of these in 2010 when she took home Song of the Year for “Single Ladies (Put a ring on it).”

Yet, she has never won the coveted Album of the Year.

Beyoncé was nominated four times for Album of the Year: “I Am… Sasha Fierce” in 2008, her self-titled “Beyoncé” in 2014, “Lemonade” in 2016 and “Renaissance” in 2022. Despite the consistent nominations for the award, she has never won. However, after Adele won Album of the Year for her album “25” over “Lemonade,” she publicly admitted that Beyoncé should have won.

Adele’s speech highlighted something that people had been talking about for years. Beyoncé has been and continues to be slighted by the Grammys, in ways such as being nominated in categories like Best Urban Contemporary Album (now known as Best Progressive R&B Album). The Grammys refuse to honor her impact and role in defining pop as a genre. Her musical impact has been felt all over the world, bringing people of different identities together.

Beyonce deserves Album of the Year — the Recording Academy “shoulda put a ring on it.”


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