Let’s face it. It happened again. The GRAMMYs often get a big award wrong, and this year it was no different. In a show where the Recording Academy didn’t have many blemishes, the most glaring ones were for display in two of the big four categories: Song of the Year and Album of the Year. Both categories were primed for Beyoncé wins.
No disrespect to Bonnie Raitt, a legend in her own right, but even she was surprised.
Raitt’s single beat out Adele’s “Easy on Me,” Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul,” Harry Styles’ “As It Was,” Kendrick Lamar’s “The Heart Part 5,” Lizzo’s “About Damn Time,” Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit,” Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (The Short Film),” DJ Khaled’s “God Did,” and Gayle’s “ABCDEFU.”
To give an idea of how wild the win was, Raitt’s “Just Like That” was +4000 in the betting odds to win the award. After the win, Raitt addressed the press.
“I’m so surprised because they were massively talented, great tunes that represented tremendous excitement of the public, both in sales and in No. 1s and big smashing hits,” said Raitt. “And my little record? I’m so glad to be nominated. I was very surprised.”
The proper vote was “Break My Soul.” Lizzo’s “About Damn Time,” which won Record of the Year, and Styles’ “As It Was,” a massive hit as well, were also suitable options.
Speaking of Styles, he spoke about his Grammy win for Album of the Year, a hotly contested win online, that many thought should go to Beyonce.
“You never know with this stuff. I don’t think you can look at any of the nominees and not feel like they’re deserving. I feel like when you look, when I look at this category, it’s all people who have inspired me at different times. It’s not like you’d understand anyone winning and, yeah, I’m really grateful that they chose us. Thank you.”
To be frank, the category was a four-horse race between Styles’ Harry House, Bey’s Renaissance, Adele’s 30, and Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti. A suitable win would have been for Renaissance, a flawless foray into a different genre for an artist, or Bad Bunny’s Un Vernao Sin Ti, which broke barriers of language to become the highest-performing album in the world.
As an interesting tidbit about the voting system, Variety published an article highlighting the voting mannerisms of the Recording Academy members.
On Bunny, a voter of over 15-plus years wrote: “Bad Bunny was by far the most commercially successful album of the year, but I think a lot of people have no idea who Bad Bunny is, just like when ‘Despacito’ was the biggest song of the year and didn’t win.”
On Beyonce, a music business veteran in his 70s wrote: “With Beyoncé, the fact that every time she does something new, it’s a big event and everyone’s supposed to quake in their shoes — it’s a little too portentous.”
There are a few wild takes in that expose, which you can read here. Ultimately, there are some corrections that need to be done to ensure voting doesn’t carry a bias based on outdated ideologies.