Why Adele’s Respect to Beyonce Matters


Photo from AP Photo

Iyana Jones, Contributing Writer

At this year’s 59th Annual Grammy’s on Sunday, Feb. 12, the usual occurred. As expected it was filled with mediocre comedy, extravagant gowns, and celebrities congratulating other celebrities – nothing new here.


Every year, there is always an artist who goes unnoticed or unrecognized for an album or song that the world seems to have appreciated, but the Academy did not. But this is understandable considering the Academy is made up of older white men, who probably can’t relate to this generation’s music. But this year, we had someone pull an infamous Kanye West in honor of Beyonce. This time it was Adele, winner of the Album of the Year, who wanted to give Queen Bey her props. After receiving the award, Adele got up on stage and said what the exact thought that was running through the mind of many in the black community in America –  Lemonade should have won.


Before you go on a rampage about why everything has to be about race, let’s just get some things out of the way. Adele, a British white woman, was able to understand and appreciate that Lemonade was created for and catered to the black woman’s experience of heartbreak. 25 was an incredible album, with a plethora of dazzling ballads about heartbreak, to which everyone can relate, but Lemonade was different. Lemonade allowed audiences to see into a side of Beyonce, a black music icon, in a way that most had not seen before. This album, for many black women, expressed sentiments that they felt to a larger audience. It showed a black woman as being vulnerable and exposed rather than the strong independent woman she’s always expected to be. It touched on all the experiences of heartbreak such as rejection, anger, reduction, while also dealing with how unappreciated black women in America are. Not only was the audio of this album incredible, but let’s not forget this was a visual album as well. With Oscar worthy editing, mystifying imagery and abstract poetry, the visual aspect of Lemonade cannot be downplayed. On top of that, the album used black women from Serena Williams and Zendaya to inspire young black girls and have them seen in a positive light as well as the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner, who are activists against police brutality.  This album managed to touch on a  vast collection of issues troubling the black community, and its authenticity is what made it such a big deal.
As Adele said, “the way you make my black friends feel, is empowering. And you make them stand up for themselves.” This album was what so many needed to here. Thank you to Adele for understanding that.