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Beyoncé makes history at the Grammys as Irish rockers Fontaines D.C. miss out

Beyoncé now holds more Grammys than any other female artist.

POP MEGASTAR BEYONCÉ made Grammys history last night by becoming the winningest woman ever at the music industry’s top awards gala, while there was disappointment for Irish band Fontaines D.C. 

Beyoncé secured the record for 28 career wins after scooping Best R&B Performance honours for her hit Black Parade, a single celebrating Black culture and activism that dropped in the wake of mass protests ignited by the death of George Floyd, a Black man, in police custody in the summer of 2020.

Overall, the 39-year-old — who initially rose to fame as part of the girl group Destiny’s Child before embarking on a wildly successful solo career — won four trophies on the night.

“I am so honoured. I’m so excited,” said the singer, who made a surprise showing at an event she has skipped for the past several years, wearing a curve-hugging black leather Schiaparelli mini dress.

“As an artist, I believe it’s my job and all of our jobs to reflect the times. And it’s been such a difficult time,” Beyonce said, with her rap mogul husband Jay-Z looking on.

Critics praised Black Parade for Beyonce’s strong vocals as well as its lyrics that simultaneously condemn racism, issue a call for activism and pay homage to Black culture.

Proceeds from the song — which dropped on Juneteenth, a holiday on 19 June commemorating the end of slavery in the United States — benefit Beyonce’s Black Business Impact Fund, which supports Black-owned small businesses.

“I wanted to uplift, encourage, celebrate all of the beautiful Black queens and kings that continue to inspire me and inspire the whole world,” Beyonce said.

Dublin-Mayo rockers Fontaines D.C. were nominated in the Best Rock Album category for the second album A Hero’s Death but lost out to The Strokes. 

‘History!’

But even as she rules over the Grammy record books, Beyonce is also among the show’s most-snubbed artists — and on Sunday, she once again fell short of capturing an award in the major categories.

She was nominated twice for Record of the Year — once alongside Megan Thee Stallion — and once in the Song of the Year category.

Those awards went to last year’s top winner Billie Eilish and bluesy rocker H.E.R., respectively.

Instead, she secured the R&B performance award, along with two rap prizes for her collaboration with Megan Thee Stallion on a remix of “Savage” and Best Music Video for her Brown Skin Girl.

Prior to 2021, pop deity Beyonce boasted 24 Grammy wins to her name — but notoriously lost Album of the Year in 2017 to British balladeer Adele despite releasing her landmark visual album “Lemonade.”

The slight is often cited as an example of the Recording Academy’s diversity issues, and even Adele said Beyonce deserved to win.

It was hard not to see a parallel after Eilish won over both Queen Bey and Megan Thee Stallion — with the 19-year-old winner saying the rapper should have taken home the prize, just as Adele had done for Beyonce.

The megastar is the most nominated female artist in Grammys history with 79, tied with Paul McCartney as the second most nominated act and only one behind Jay-Z and industry legend Quincy Jones.

But she’s only triumphed in the top categories once: in 2010, she won Song of the Year for Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It).

63rd-annual-grammy-awards-press-room Taylor Swift won her third album of the year award. Source: Jordan Strauss

Yesterday, any controversies between her and the Academy seemed more like fodder for fans, than something Bey deigned to concern herself with.

“It’s such a magical night, thank you so much,” Beyonce said, adding her gratitude to her children — the eldest, Blue Ivy, won her first Grammy alongside her mom for her appearance in “Brown Skin Girl.”

“I’m so honoured to be your mommy,” she said, before nodding to Jay-Z and adding: “I love you so much, my rock.”

“History!” host Trevor Noah exclaimed as the night’s queen sashayed from the stage.

“Give it up for Beyonce. This is history right now!”

Key winners

Album of the Year: Taylor Swift, “folklore”

Record of the Year, recognizing overall performance on a song: Billie Eilish, “Everything I Wanted”

Song of the Year, for songwriting: H.E.R., Dernst Emile II and Tiara Thomas, “I Can’t Breathe”

Best New Artist: Megan Thee Stallion

Best Music Video: Beyonce, “Brown Skin Girl”

Best Rap Album: Nas, “King’s Disease”

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Best Rap Song: Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyonce, “Savage”

Best Rap Performance: Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyonce, “Savage”

Best Rock Album: The Strokes, “The New Abnormal”

Best Rock Song: Brittany Howard, “Stay High”

Best Rock Performance: Fiona Apple, “Shameika”

Best Pop Vocal Album: Dua Lipa, “Future Nostalgia”

Best Pop Solo Performance: Harry Styles, “Watermelon Sugar”

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande, “Rain on Me”

Best R&B Album: John Legend, “Bigger Love”

Best R&B Performance: Beyonce, “Black Parade”

Best Alternative Music Album: Fiona Apple, “Fetch the Bolt Cutters”

Best Global Music Album: Burna Boy, “Twice as Tall”

Best Country Album: Miranda Lambert, “Wildcard”

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: Kanye West, “Jesus Is King”

Best Comedy Album: Tiffany Haddish, “Black Mitzvah”

Best Song Written for Visual Media: Billie Eilish, “No Time to Die” (for “No Time to Die”)

- © AFP 2021 with reporting by Rónán Duffy

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