LOS ANGELES — What does Beyoncé have to do to win the Grammy Award for album of the year?
That was the question swirling around Twitter on Sunday night after Harry Styles won the top Grammys prize in yet another controversial upset over Queen Bey. Styles received the honor for his third solo record, "Harry's House," while Beyoncé was nominated (and expected by many to finally win) for her seventh studio album, "Renaissance."
In an essay for the Los Angeles Times previewing the 2023 Grammys, pop music critic Mikael Wood insisted that the Recording Academy's history of snubbing the "Break My Soul" hit-maker for the biggest award of the night "needs to change on Sunday." Beyoncé has never won album of the year despite being nominated four times: for "I Am...Sasha Fierce" (2008), "Beyoncé" (2013), "Lemonade" (2016) and "Renaissance" (2022).
"Grand-scaled yet painstakingly plotted, obsessed with tradition while attuned to the future, 'Renaissance' is a masterpiece of both form and feeling, with some of Beyoncé's finest singing — growly, sensual, playful, angelic — amid arrangements that pull inspiration (and the occasional sample or interpolation) from a deep archive of disco, funk, techno, Afrobeats, hip-hop and ballroom music," Wood writes.
"But the way 'Renaissance' coheres, with its intricate transitions and clever callbacks, is the real wonder to behold; it's by far the most album-y of the 10 LPs competing for album of the year."
During Sunday's ceremony at L.A.'s Crypto.com Arena, Beyoncé made history by surpassing orchestra conductor Georg Solti as the artist with the most Grammy Awards of all time. After entering this year's competition with more nominations than any other artist, the revered entertainer took home the 2023 Grammys for dance/electronic music album ("Renaissance"); R&B song ("Cuff It"); traditional R&B performance ("Plastic Off the Sofa"); and dance/electronic recording ("Break My Soul").
That wasn't enough for legions of fans who firmly believe the veteran musician and performer deserved more.
"I honestly don't know how Beyoncé does it," tweeted @MediumSizeMeech. "To know that you're the best of the best, and still be so humble even when people playing in your face. I woulda BEEN flipped a table."
"Beyoncé represents every Black woman that is constantly applauded for their work but when it comes to promotion time their white colleague gets it instead," tweeted @adaenechi.
"you don't have to even be a stan to acknowledge the table-shaking, industry-changing nature of beyoncé's self-titled, lemonade, and renaissance albums," tweeted @JarrettHill. "and yet..."
Several were of the opinion that Styles winning the top prize over Beyoncé was particularly insulting. Rounding out the 2023 nominees in the album of the year category were ABBA ("Voyage"); Adele ("30"); Bad Bunny ("Un Verano Sin Ti"); Mary J. Blige ("Good Morning Gorgeous"); Brandi Carlile ("In These Silent Days"); Coldplay ("Music of the Spheres"); Kendrick Lamar ("Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers"); and Lizzo ("Special") — who credited Beyoncé with inspiring her while accepting the award for record of the year ("About Damn Time").
"there's no way realistically that white man had a better album than beyoncé, adele, AND bad bunny lmfao like come on," tweeted @thedigitaldash_ .
"Having a choice between Beyonce or Bad Bunny and somehow giving it to Harry Styles is an incredible way to unite African Americans, the general African diaspora, Hispanics, and Latinos," tweeted @_Zeets .
"Y'all picked harry over Beyoncé DURING BLACK HISTORY MONTH !!!!" tweeted @sirmaxwell301 .