By Harriet Alexander For Dailymail.com
03:25 05 Feb 2024, updated 08:43 05 Feb 2024
- Jay-Z on Sunday night was honored with the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award for his contribution to the music industry
- The 54-year-old used his acceptance speech to note bitterly that his wife Beyonce had never won Album of the Year, despite 32 other wins
- ‘So even by your own metrics, that doesn’t work,’ he said. ‘Think about that. The most Grammys; never won Album of the Year. That doesn’t work’
The Brooklyn-born rapper was honored with the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award for his contribution to the music industry.
With his 12-year-old daughter Blue Ivy standing on stage beside him, and wife Beyonce looking on from their table in the audience, dressed in just-off-the-catwalk Louis Vuitton by Pharrell Williams, Jay-Z spoke about the importance of dreams, drive and ambition.
He said that there were more important things in life than winning Grammys, noting they were subjective – and pointing out his superstar wife had never won best album.
‘I don’t want to embarrass this young lady, but she has more Grammys than everyone and never won Album of the Year,’ Jay-Z said. ‘So even by your own metrics, that doesn’t work. Think about that. The most Grammys; never won Album of the Year. That doesn’t work.’
The camera cut to Beyonce, looking slightly apprehensive in the audience.
Jay-Z has been nominated for 88 competitive Grammy Awards, winning 24 of them. Six of his nominations have been for Album of the Year.
Beyonce has also been nominated for 88 competitive Grammy Awards, winning 32 of them.
Like her husband, Beyonce has been nominated six times for Album of the Year, but never won.
In 2015, when Beyonce lost out on Album of the Year to Beck, Kanye West pretended to storm the stage in protest.
The moment drew parallels to West’s actions in 2009, when he famously interrupted Swift as she accepted the Best Female Video award at the MTV Video Music Awards, telling her: ‘Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you. … but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time.’
West in 2015 mimed storming the stage again, protesting that her album ‘Beyonce’ lost out to Beck’s ‘Morning Phase.’
Recording Academy voters choose who wins Album of the Year, and in 2015 the voter base was split between Pharrell, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith. Beck’s support was united, leading to Beck’s win.
Beck said after the show: ‘Absolutely I thought she was going to win. You can’t please everybody.
‘I still love him and think he’s genius. I aspire to what he does. How many great records has he put out in the last five years, right?’
West, a protégée of Jay-Z’s, insisted in interviews in 2015 that Beyonce had been robbed.
‘All I know is if the Grammys want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain’t gonna play with them no more,’ he said.
‘Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé, and at this point, we tired of it.’
Jay-Z on Sunday said the awards were subjective – but nice to win.
At the start of his speech, he joked that his Grammy Awards used to be used as sippy cups for Blue Ivy – but now ‘she has her own Grammys,’ he said.
She won her first Grammy aged 9, with a writing credit for Brown Skin Girl, which won in 2021 for her mother.
Jay-Z continued: ‘How far we’ve come from Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff winning their first Grammy in ’89 and boycotting because it wasn’t televised.
‘And then they went to the hotel and watched the Grammys. I didn’t even understand. It wasn’t a great boycott.’
He said that he then did a similar thing.
‘But then ’98, I took a page out of their book. I was nominated for Best Rap Album, and DMX had dropped two albums that year. They both were number one — shout out to DMX — and he wasn’t nominated at all.
‘So I boycotted and I watched the Grammys.
‘I’m just saying, we want y’all to get it right. We love y’all. We love y’all. We love y’all. We want y’all to get it right. At least get it close to right.’
He then launched into his critique of the awards, and his condemnation of the failure to recognize his wife.
‘Obviously it’s subjective because it’s music and it’s opinion-based,’ he said.
Last year, she became the most awarded artist in Grammy Awards history – but with only one win in a Big Four category.
‘So even by your own metrics, that doesn’t work,’ Jay-Z said.
‘Some of you are gonna go home tonight and feel like you’ve been robbed. Some of you may get robbed. Some of you don’t belong in the category. When I get nervous, I tell the truth.’
He added: ‘But outside of that, we got to keep showing up — and forget the greatness for a second, just in life.
‘As my daughter sits and stares at me nervous as I am, you got to keep showing up. Just keep showing up to get the Grammys.
‘You got to keep showing up until they give you all those accolades you feel you deserve. Until they call you champion, until they call you a genius, until they call you the greatest of all time.’
Some people on social media applauded Jay-Z’s speech, while others laughed at the expected reaction of the Grammys organizers.
One shared a meme of people pulling a TV off the wall; another showed a person grabbing a gun pointed at them, then turning it around.
Another showed a meme of Oprah Winfrey rolling her eyes, commenting: ‘So is Jay Z saying that Beyoncé’s awards were all consolation prizes ? And that the Grammy are a joke?!’
The Global Impact Award is presented to black artists in recognition of their ‘dedication to the art form that has greatly influenced the industry,’ according to the official Grammy Awards website.
This year’s honor was shared by Jay-Z, Lenny Kravitz and Mariah Carey.
The award, created in 2022, has previously been presented to John Legend, Dr. Dre, Missy Elliott, Lil Wayne, and music executive Sylvia Rhone.