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Adele Pays Teary Tribute to Beyonce After Winning Album of the Year Grammy

Variety logo Variety 2/13/2017 Dani Levy
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Adele teared up after winning the album of the year Grammy on Sunday evening, giving a huge shoutout to Beyonce, who was also nominated in the top category. And in true Adele style, she dropped (another) expletive on live TV.

“I can’t possibly accept this award, and I’m very humbled and very grateful and gracious but my life is Beyonce, and the album to me, the ‘Lemonade’ album, Beyonce, was so monumental, and so well thought out,” she said on stage, as Beyonce also teared up in the audience. “And so beautiful and soul bearing and we all got to see another side of you that you don’t always let us see, and we appreciate that.”

“All of us artists f–king adore you,” she went on, bleeped out. “You are our light. And the way that you make me and my friends feel, the way you make my black friends feel is empowering, and you make them stand up for themselves. And I love you. I always have. And I always will.”

Adele could barely take a breath between her album of the year speech and her award before that. She also won record and song of the year for “Hello,” and during that speech, told Beyonce, “I want you to be my mommy.”

It was a night full of Adele, even before her big final wins. She kicked off the show by performing “Hello” and later, during a tribute to the late George Michael, dropped an f-bomb and restarted the performance. She later apologized for the mishap.

Along with Beyonce’s “Lemonade,” Adele’s “25” also beat out “Purpose” by Justin Bieber, “Views” by Drake, and “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” by Sturgill Simpson for one of the top honors on music’s biggest night.

With Beyonce, Adele, Drake, and Bieber among music’s top talent — some of the most popular and best-selling artists of the decade — the competition was down to the wire. With lesser-known Sturgill Simpson in the mix, the star-studded category was even more unpredictable this year.

And yet, Adele won out, for arguably the biggest award, though each of the nominated albums has had major commercial success.

“Views,” with five singles, spent 13 non-consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and was the first album to be streamed a billion times on Apple Music.

Beyonce’s second visual album, “Lemonade,” made an even bigger splash than her self-titled first. The hour-long presentation debuted on HBO last April and told the story of Beyonce’s plight as a wronged wife (of husband Jay Z) and African-American woman. After this year’s batch of noms, Beyonce continues her reign as the most-nominated female artist in Grammy history, with 62 career nods.

Adele’s “25,” the last in her “trilogy” of age-titled albums, follows up her previous win in the same category for “21” five years ago. Now, Adele has made history by becoming the first artist since Bob Dylan to have a follow-up album to an “album of the year” winner receive a nomination in the same category.

With “Purpose,” also nominated for best pop vocal album, Justin Bieber is striving to reassert himself as a musically-gifted artist who critics should take seriously. An Ontario native, Bieber fought Torontonian Drake to become the first Canadian solo artist since Celine Dion to win the prize.

The underdog, “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth,” comes from country singer-songwriter (John) Sturgill Simpson. With his first major-label release, the relative newcomer edged out more well-known artists, including David Bowie, Radiohead, Sia, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Coldplay, and Paul Simon, for a spot in the category. “Guide to Earth” is the first entirely self-produced album to receive the album of the year nomination since 2014, when two such albums — Beck’s “Morning Phase” and Pharrell Williams’ “Girl”were nominated.

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