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Jay-Z Is Right — Beyoncé Is Continuously Snubbed While Taylor Swift Is Celebrated

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Beyoncé, Taylor Swift

The 2024 Grammys saw some big winners, including Victoria Monét, Miley Cyrus, and Paramore taking home the most coveted award in the music industry.

However, the last award of the night, "Album of the Year," brought some mixed reactions after Taylor Swift's "Midnights" took home the honor, which was only exacerbated after Jay-Z called out the Recording Academy for continuously refusing to give Beyoncé her flowers in the past.

Jay-Z criticized the Recording Academy for continuously snubbing Beyoncé for 'Album of the Year.'

While accepting the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award, the 54-year-old rapper gave a wide-ranging speech, recalling artists like Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff boycotting the award show in 1988 and his own boycott after being nominated for best rap album in 1998.

"DMX had dropped two albums that year, they both went number one — shout out to DMX — and he was not nominated at all. So I boycotted, and I watched the Grammys. I'm just saying, we want y'all to get it right," the "No Church in the Wild" rapper said.

His criticism of the recording academy didn't stop there, with Jay-Z shifting the conversation to talking about his wife and global superstar, Beyoncé.

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"I don’t want to embarrass this young lady, but she has more Grammys than everyone and never won Album of the Year," he said. "So even by your own metrics, that doesn’t work. Think about that. The most Grammys never won Album of the Year. That doesn’t work."

Beyoncé has been nominated a total of four times as a solo artist for Album of the Year but has not won it once. The 'Halo' singer earned Album of the Year nominations in 2010 for "I Am... Sasha Fierce," in 2015 for her self-titled "Beyoncé," in 2017 for "Lemonade," and in 2023 for "Renaissance."

She lost out on Album of the Year for "Renaissance" to Harry Styles ("Harry's Home"), which many people took issue with considering how monumental that album was, and the wide-spread praise and recognition that followed after she'd dropped the infamous project.

Jay-Z Is Right That Beyonce Is Continuously Snubbed At The Grammys While Taylor Swift Is CelebratedPhoto: A.RICARDO / Shutterstock

Jay-Z didn't stop there, adding, "Some of you are gonna go home tonight and feel like you’ve been robbed. Some of you may get robbed. Some of you don’t belong in the category," before clarifying, "When I get nervous, I tell the truth."

The winner of Album of the Year for 2024 was Taylor Swift ("Midnights"), which makes Swift a four-time winner of the night's most prestigious award, while artists like Beyoncé have never won.

The Grammys has a history of excluding Black artists from winning the top categories of the night.

Beyoncé is regarded as someone who holds the most Grammy wins of all time — 32 to be exact. Though, her wins seem to all stop when it comes to Album of the Year. In the category this year, SZA for her sophomore album "SOS," and Janelle Monae's "The Age of Pleasure," were nominated for, what is regarded, as the most prestigious and coveted award of the night.

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The last time a Black artist won Album of the Year was in 2022 when Jon Batiste took home the award for "We Are," becoming the first Black artist to win since 2008. As for Black women, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Lizzo, and Rihanna have all been nominated, but "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" was the last album by a Black woman to win the award in 1999.

Only 37 albums by 25 Black women have earned nods for the big award since 1959. It's why so many people were rooting for SZA's "SOS," despite Black artists being shown time and time again that their talents aren't enough to win the top awards at the Grammys.

In a TikTok video, a content creator named Fatou Bojang explained the frustration that many Black people, especially Black women feel, whenever artists like Beyoncé are snubbed in favor of artists such as Taylor Swift. 



It's not Swift's problem that she's won Album of the Year four times throughout her career and has been continuously recognized by the Recording Academy, but rather the Academy's fault that they don't take the time to allow Black artists that same spotlight.

"[Beyoncé's] albums are more than just albums," Fatou argued. "They were literally cultural milestones. Everybody knows where they were when 'Lemonade' came out. Everybody went to 'Renaissance' tours with their silver [attire]. Not to say Taylor wasn't doing her thing with 'Eras,' but there's no reason on this planet that Taylor should have four Albums of the Year and Beyoncé has zero."

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In findings released exclusively to CNN by the USC Annenberg Inclusion initiative from its "Black Artists on the Charts & Nominees at the Grammys," they discovered Black performers represented about 38% of all artists on Billboard’s signature chart from 2012 to 2020, yet they received only 26.7% of top Grammy nominations during the same period. Only 24% of this year’s top Grammy nominees were Black.

The study's lead author, Dr. Stacy L. Smith, told CNN that it's the lack of diversity among Grammy voters and the music industry's executive ranks that led to a lack of Black Grammy winners. This has also been noticed by many other artists.

During Adele's acceptance speech for Album of the Year for "25" in 2017, she famously told the Grammy audience that she couldn't accept the award in good faith because she believed it rightfully belonged to Beyoncé for "Lemonade."

"[The] artist of my life is Beyoncé and this album for me, the 'Lemonade' album, was just so monumental," Adele said. "The way you make me and my friends feel, the way you make my Black friends feel, is empowering… I love you. I always have and I always will."

There is a serious disconnect between albums that have seen commercial success, like SZA's "SOS," and the popularity of both artist and their projects to those same projects being nominated and winning important and prestigious accolades.

This disconnect seems to only harm Black creatives, which has been illustrated time and time again by the talented Black artists who show up and show out, only to be snubbed when they rightfully deserve their flowers. 

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.