Adele may have won Album of the Year tonight, but it turns out even she thinks Beyonce’s “Lemonade” was robbed.
“I can’t possibly accept this award,” Adele said in her acceptance speech. “I’m very humbled and I’m very grateful and gracious, [but] the artist of my life is Beyonce, and the album to me, the “Lemonade” album, was so monumental, and so well thought out. And so beautiful and soul-bearing and we all got to see another side of you that you don’t always let us see, and we appreciate that.”
Backstage she was more blunt, wondering aloud to reporters, “What the f— does she have to do to win?'” according to Buzzfeed.
Adele and Beyonce shared the night’s big rivalry, if you can call it that, with Adele’s “25” and Beyonce’s “Lemonade” vying for some of the same awards. Beyonce had the most nominations of any artist, with nine, and going into the Grammys tonight, she seemed a lock for the top honor. “25” is a beloved pop record after all, but “Lemonade” has been almost universally praised as a groundbreaking concept album, a bold and confrontational political statement, and an artistically risky multimedia project.
Adele used her acceptance speech (and probably won the eternal love of the Internet in the process) to lavishly praise Queen Bey.
“All us artists adore you. You are our light,” Adele said later in her speech. “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.”
Read the whole acceptance speech below.
Hi, guys. Hi. Hi, everyone. hi. hi. hi. hi. As you can see, it took an army to make me strong and willing again to do it, and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Five years ago, when I was last here, I was so– I was pregnant, and I didn’t know. And I was awarded that shortly after, I found out shortly after, which was the biggest blessing of my life. And in my pregnancy, and through becoming a mother, I lost a lot of myself. I struggled and I still do struggle being a mom. It’s really hard.
But tonight winning this kind of feels full circle.
But I can’t possibly accept this award, and I’m very humbled and I’m very grateful and gracious [but] the artist of my life is Beyonce, and the album to me, the “Lemonade” album, Beyonce, was so monumental, and so well thought out. And so beautiful and soul bearing 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. Grammys, I appreciate it. The academy, I love you, my manager, my husband, and my son. You’re the only reason I do it. Thank you so much. Thank you very much to everybody.