Adele wins a lot of Grammys. That’s kind of her thing. And on Sunday night (February 12), she added five more to her collection — including Album of the Year for her 2015 LP, 25.
That endearing 2012 photo of Adele cradling two armfuls of gold statuettes, when 21 absolutely cleaned house, is everlasting; it’s also a correct representation of the night she had this year, too, racking up wins for Record of the Year and Song of the Year and ultimately beating out Beyoncé’s Lemonade, Drake’s Views, Justin Bieber’s Purpose, and Sturgill Simpson’s A Sailor’s Guide to Earth for the top prize.
As much as 2016 was Beyoncé’s year at large — it’s hard to top the much–discussed, sprawling audio/visual statement that is Lemonade, especially after the weeks it spent in the cultural conversation — there’s no denying that the Grammys have long been Adele’s playground. This year, her highly memeable “Hello” beat out Beyoncé for Song of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, and Record of the Year. 25 took home the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album as well.
In a teary acceptance speech, Adele reflected back on her win five years ago, admitting how much she’s changed since then because of motherhood. “It took an army to make me strong and willing to do it again,” she said about the four-year gap between 21 and 25. Still, there was a tinge of regret in her words directed toward her main competitor of the evening, Queen Bey.
“I’m very humbled and grateful and gracious, but my artist of my life is Beyoncé,” Adele said, her voice quavering. “This album for me, the Lemonade album, is just so monumental … and so well-thought-out and so beautiful and soul-baring, and we all got to see another side to you that you don’t always let us see, and we appreciate that.”
“Formation” and “Hello” were both nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year, and Adele took both. Bey’s “Hold Up” was up for Best Pop Solo Performance but lost to “Hello” as well. At the end of the night, Beyoncé walked away with two trophies: Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best Music Video. Hey, Grammys, there’s always 2019.