When Adele stepped onto the stage at the Grammys on Sunday to accept the Album of the Year award, the singer said she couldn’t accept the award with a clear conscience because she believed that Beyoncé’s album was clearly superior. This moment led to discussions about how black artists – whose work the music industry cannibalizes more often that it rewards it – don’t get the credit they deserve. And everyone seemed to weigh in, including Carlos Santana.
Adele’s 25 went up against Beyoncé’s Lemonade – an empowering album that hopped genres and explored race, gender, and feminism. But more importantly, Beyoncé’s latest album is for black women. “This is the reality and fantasy of Lemonade: a beautiful blur of truth and fiction, sacred and profane, strength and weakness, shrewdness and art,” wrote Clover Hope on Jezebel. “Inherited burdens and, finally, salvation. It’s the story of, and for, the tossed-aside black women whose fury makes us strike and for those who bottle it up.”
In her acceptance speech, Adele said the album meant a lot to her black friends. Backstage, she said, “I felt like it was her time to win, ” she said, according to Billboard. “What the fuck does she have to do to win album of the year? That’s how I feel.”
Two days later, Santana gave his hot take in an interview with the Australian Associated Press. “I think that Adele won because she can sing, sing,” he said. “With all respect to our sister Beyoncé, Beyoncé is very beautiful to look at and it’s more like modeling kind of music – music to model a dress – she’s not a singer, singer, with all respect to her.” Santana – who is not known for being a vocalist and who has still gone on to win an Album of the Year Grammy – went on to say that Adele doesn’t need to rely on backup dancers.
“She doesn’t bring all the dancers and props, she can just stand there and she just stood there and sang the song and that’s it, and this is why she wins,” he said. Some may argue that the award should go to the artist with the best vocal ability. However, others believe that cultural relevance should play a role in who wins. But one thing that can’t go ignored is that the Grammys has a long history of not acknowledging black artists outside of a few specific categories.
In the end, Santana accused the AP of taking his comments out of context (though he doesn’t provide any more context) in a Facebook post. “My intent was to congratulate Adele on her amazing night at the [Grammys],” he wrote. “I have the utmost respect for [Beyoncé] as an artist and a person. She deserves all the accolades that come her way. I wish Beyoncé and her family all the best.”
H/T Huffington Post