A Grammy Controversy


Isaac Hollis

The cover of Beyoncé’s fifth studio album which was nominated for “Album of the Year.”

Isaac Hollis, Guest Columnist

Surprisingly, at the 57th Annual Grammys on February 8th, 2015, Beyoncé was snubbed of her Album of the Year award. Instead, the Grammy voters decided to give her award to another musician by the name of Beck.

Here is a little background knowledge; on December 5th, 2014 the nominees were announced for the Grammys. The Album of the Year nominations included: the musicians Sam Smith, Pharell, Beck, Ed Sheeran, and of course Beyoncé.

A majority of well-known media outlets predicted Beyoncé would snatch the award. Billboard stated, “Beyoncé’s self-titled fifth album towered over the entirety of 2014, as the music industry scrambled to figure out how to ‘pull a Beyoncé’ and how a mainstream icon who causes widespread Internet obsession could completely reinvent her sound on the fly.”  They described her inventiveness with her whole surprise album concept as the reason why she would win.

Forbes predicted Beyoncé would win as well, “The album was short on singles, but long on innovation–something the music business could use more–thanks to its surprise release a little over a year ago. What won’t be a surprise is another Grammy victory for Beyoncé.” As well as Billboard, Forbes recognized her innovative, game changing album.

Before the big show in February, there was a panel of producers, industry experts and Grammy voters who picked who they thought would walk away with each award. These predictions indicated: 5% said Pharell, 13% said Ed Sheeran, 17% said Beck, 26% said Sam Smith, while the other 39% said Beyoncé. With these predictions from several sources, it was common for people to expect that on February 8th, 2015, Beyoncé would walk away with the award “Album of the Year.”

Even Beyoncé’s and Beck’s metacritic scores indicated a preference for Beyoncé. (Metacritic is a top website for reviews of music albums, games, movies, TV shows, DVDs, and books.) For music albums, metacritic puts all their review scores together to make a number out of 100. Beyoncé’s was an 85 out of 100, while Beck followed behind her with an 81 out of 100.

Now back to Grammy night, music icon Prince went on stage to present the award for “Album of the Year.” Like every award show, they showed the nominees, and then they announced the winner. Prince announced “Morning Phase” which is Beck’s album. The crowd was in shock, many celebrities made faces in confusion because like most everyone else, they believed that Beyoncé’s name would be called.

Kanye West pulled the same move he did at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards when she lost “Best Female Video”. He went on stage to most likely say, “Beyoncé had one of the best albums of all time,” but instead he decided to just walk up there and just walk off without stating anything. After the Grammys, Kanye did an interview and stated, “I just know that the Grammys, if they want real artists, to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain’t gonna play with them no more, and Beck needs to respect artistry and he should’ve given his award to Beyoncé.”

Mic.com also shared their opinion, they stated, “When Prince announced that Beck’s Morning Phase had won album of the year at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards, jaws dropped around America.” They also stated, “Beyoncé is the most nominated woman in Grammy history; she has won a staggering 20 awards, but her crown is still short its biggest jewel. She has never won an Album of the Year award. She’s been passed up for it three times now. None of her albums have deserved it more than her self-titled Beyoncé. But as we’ve seen throughout history, the Grammys rarely make the right choice regarding Album of the Year.” The article on mic.com also compared the effects each of the albums had on the industry to support the fact on how they were in disbelief of her snub. “#Justice4Bey” and “Who is Beck” even trended on Twitter.

This Grammy moment put everyone in an uproar, but last year, the same thing happened when rapper Macklemore won “Best Rap Album” over rapper Kendrick Lamar. It looks like lately the Grammys have become known for snubbing the most deserving musicians for the top awards.

But, congratulations anyway, Beck for winning “Album of the Year.”



  1. http://www.billboard.com/articles/events/grammys-2015/6465234/2015-grammys-predictions-who-will-should-win
  2. http://www.forbes.com/sites/zackomalleygreenburg/2015/02/06/grammys-2015-predicting-the-big-winners/
  3. http://www.billboard.com/articles/events/grammys-2015/6458334/grammy-preview-industry-insider-predictions
  4. http://mic.com/articles/110150/beyonc-s-album-was-just-viciously-snubbed-at-the-grammys
  5. http://www.metacritic.com/music/beyonce/beyonce
  6. http://www.metacritic.com/music/morning-phase/beck
  7. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/grammys-2015-kanye-west-rails-771636