Adele swept the 59th annual Grammy Awards with her album “25,” an enormous hit around the world, in a night that shut out Beyoncé from the major awards and also featured reverent tributes and, at times, pointed political commentary.
Adele won a total of five awards, including album of the year for '25' and both record and song of the year for the hit “Hello” — a sweep that Adele accomplished five years ago with her last album, “21.” She is the only artist to win album, record and song of the year twice.
The night had been seen as a contest between Adele and Beyonce, two superdivas who were up against each other in all major categories. There was also concern in the music industry that just such an outcome — with a white woman defeating a black woman in all top awards — would feed a brewing resentment that the Grammys too often fail to recognize minority artists in the top categories.
Meanwhile, Beyoncé, who offered a jaw-dropping, multimedia homage to motherhood in a segment that stunned the celebrities in attendance and immediately set social media on fire. After an affectionate introduction by her own mother, Tina Knowles, Beyoncé appeared as a crowned fertility goddess with her pregnant belly highlighted for the camera; at one point, her 5-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, ran around her.
Surrounded by dancers, and with projected images of herself in saffron robes, Beyoncé performed the songs “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles” from her album “Lemonade.” When she accepted the award minutes later for best urban contemporary album, Beyoncé read a prepared statement that sounded like a manifesto.
By Tony Nwanne