After spending some time stuck in traffic on Feb. 5, 2023, Beyoncé arrived at the Grammys and then broke the record for most Grammy wins by an artist in the history of the award. That record-shattering moment was one for the history books, and it was a reminder of how enormous her impact has been on the world of music.
Even as she broke that record, though, there were some who wondered whether Beyoncé had ever won Album of the Year. Keep reading to find out!
Has Beyoncé ever won Album of the Year at the Grammys?
Beyoncé lost Album of the Year at the Grammys ceremony in 2023 to Harry Styles, and it led some to wonder whether she has ever won that top prize. Despite producing some of the more iconic albums of the 21st century, it turns out that Beyoncé has yet to win Album of the Year. In fact, what should have been a night of triumph for her turned into yet another reminder of the Grammy's inability to reward Black music, and Black women in particular.
This isn't a new problem for Beyoncé, who has lost Album of the Year on multiple occasions over the course of her career, in spite of being the winningest artist in the history of the ceremony, with 32 trophies to her name. Adele was the artist to beat her for the top prize last time she was up for it. Adele even asked reporters after the ceremony, “[What] does she have to do to win album of the year?”
Beyoncé still ruled the Grammys.
Despite her loss, Beyoncé's influence still loomed large over the rest of the ceremony, and when she did take the stage, she made the most of her moments. When she won her 32nd Grammy, she thanked her Uncle Jonny, who she has described as her "godmother" and was the one to introduce her to LGBTQ+ culture at an early age.
“I’d like thank the queer community for your love, and for inventing the genre,” she said.
Even when she wasn't onstage, those who did win major awards took moments to honor her in their speeches. After Lizzo won Record of the Year for "About Damn Time," she told a story of being inspired by Beyoncé after skipping school to see one of her concerts.
“You clearly are the artist of our lives!” Lizzo said.
Beyoncé won Grammys for best dance/electronic recording for "Break My Soul," traditional R&B performance for "Plastic Off the Sofa," and R&B song for "Cuff It."
Whatever else happened during this years Grammys, the story of Beyoncé's loss in the major categories is likely to be the dominant narrative in the days to come.
In an era when Beyoncé remains one of the most dominant artists alive, it's striking the number of times she has been snubbed for work that was widely beloved and critically acclaimed. The backlash against the Grammys is likely to be fierce, although it remains to be seen what changes could be made if any to make a Beyoncé win more likely.