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In the world of the Recording Academy, Beyoncé once more found herself in an unpleasant position after two categories of the Grammy Awards program. She missed out on a prestigious trophy because, among other things, she was late to the event (allegedly due to traffic). With her award for "Cuff It," a standout track from her 2022 album "Renaissance," she tied conductor Georg Solti for the most Grammy victories. But when compared to Beyoncé's Grammys past, where she has also been one of the Recording Academy's most underappreciated artists, collecting up lesser genre-based victories but largely losing in the awards' headline categories, it was a tricky accomplishment. When Adele defeated Beyoncé to win Album of the Year in 2017, Adele herself was unable to handle the outcome because of the overwhelming sense of cosmic injustice. She informed the audience, "I can't possibly accept this honor." "I'm incredibly humbled, but Beyoncé is my favorite artist of all time. The album "Lemonade" was so significant.

This year, the Grammys broadcast looked determined to alter the course and divert the viewer from it in the aftermath of "Renaissance," Beyoncé's eagerly anticipated follow-up to "Lemonade." The Grammy Awards presentation and its host, Trevor Noah, went above and beyond this year to remind the audience of the Grammys' admiration for Beyoncé's towering grandeur and the historic aspect of the occasion, even though the Recording Academy voters have not always appropriately rewarded her work. Noah swiftly reminded the audience during his opening speech that the ceremony's theme would be giving Beyoncé her due; she was nominated for nine awards but only needed four victories to break the record. I quit my work because of the words to 'Break My Soul,' he joked. He met Beyoncé at her table when she eventually arrived at the arena and personally gave her the trophy she had earlier been unable to accept. "You know, there's no way you don't get to hold your Grammy in your palm and celebrate it when you equal a record. Officially, the queen is present in the building. Beyoncé Knowles, ladies, and gentlemen," he said. While Jay-Z chewed his food, she feigned a smile, looking awkward. With nine nominations, it was almost a given that Beyoncé would surpass Solti's record. The overt theme of the evening was this, but the louder undercurrent was whether the Recording Academy was finally ready to give Beyoncé the Major Awards.

This was the question that hung over the rest of the show, which was largely bland entertainment. Bad Bunny opened the event with an exhilarating homage to ancient Latin genres, throwing up a maximalist version of his merengue-minded track, "Después de la Playa," despite being overlooked elsewhere despite his global supremacy. Taylor Swift was inspired to jump up from her chair and dance throughout the energetic performance, which added to the evening's gif and meme-making energies.

The evening's mood rapidly changed to that of the Recording Academy: Stevie Wonder and Brandi Carlile both gave their customary performances. The performers who had passed away the previous year were honored with a protracted tribute medley. After Madonna's tone-deaf introduction, Sam Smith and Kim Petra performed the song "Unholy," which they received an award for. For those who were following along on social media, Kendrick Lamar provided a sound bite when he won his trophy for Best Rap Record: "I finally found imperfection with this album." A cringe-worthy fan discussion panel was broadcast intermittently throughout the evening. The Grammys' most inspiring part, an opulent celebration of fifty years of hip-hop that managed to bring the genre's elder statesmen and contemporary revolutionaries together onstage, undoubtedly dissuaded anyone inclined to stop watching and go to bed. It may have been mistaken for a PowerPoint presentation of some type. But thanks to Questlove, who organized and mixed the piece, and his social media acumen, the medley came across as a sincere love letter to hip-hop and an exhilarating reminder of the genre's standing as an American canon. —despite the Grammys' longstanding failure to recognize it as such. When the show was over, the cameras discovered Jay-Z, who was ecstatically celebrating while firing a finger gun.

But let's get back to Beyoncé, who did shatter the record and become the Grammys' most successful artist. She ended up creating history by winning one of the evening's least significant prizes, for Best Dance/Electronic Album, so it was a qualified victory. The pursuit of success is so deeply ingrained in Beyoncé's DNA that she once created a music video (for the song "Pretty Hurts") highlighting her contentious relationship with accolades and trophies. Even though she has molded herself into a ruthless innovator, Beyoncé is also an institutionalist at heart. She was aware of the accomplishment of breaking the record; as a result, as she went to the podium to receive her award, she was filled with emotion and was crying and gasping for air. “I’m trying not to be too emotional,” she said. “I’m trying to just receive this night.”

Anyone who has paid attention to the Grammys' grating conservatism throughout the years was not shocked when Beyoncé was outperformed by other celebrities when the big awards came around. Given by Jill Biden, and Bonnie Raitt won Song of the Year for "Just Like That," while Lizzo won Record of the Year. Like Adele, Lizzo felt forced to proclaim the obvious after her performance: She said, "Thank you very much, Beyoncé. You are without a doubt our life's greatest artist. As he won the night's last trophy for Album of the Year for "Harry's House," Harry Styles appeared a little taken aback. "I believe that on evenings like this, we must understand that there is no such thing as ‘best in music,’ ” he said.

Maybe, but there are other adverbs that fit Beyoncé's situation better. She was crowned the most acclaimed, most successful, and yet mysteriously most undersung singer in Grammy history last night at a ceremony that was intended to seem like a coronation but came off like an apology. The Recording Academy also maintained its record for making perplexing decisions.

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