Beyoncé set a new record for the most Grammy wins ever

1 month ago Quartz

Beyoncé made history at the Grammys.

The singer-songwriter-dancer won four awards—best dance/electronic album for Renaissance, best R&B song for “Cuff It,” best dance-electronic music recording for “Break My Soul,” and best traditional R&B performance for “Plastic off the Sofa”—during the 65th annual Grammy Awards hosted by Trevor Noah at the Arena in Los Angeles yesterday (Feb. 5).


Accepting the award for Renaissance, Beyoncé gave a brief and heartfelt speech thanking members of her family as well as “the queer community, for your love and for inventing the genre.” In an Instagram post, she thanked her fans and collaborators and described “Plastic off the Sofa” as her favorite song from the album “most days. “It’s hard to pick though,” she added.

Last night’s victories brought her total Grammy win count to 32, making her the most-decorated artist in the history of music awards that began way back in 1958.

Charted: Top G rammy winners

Person of interest: Georg Solti

Late conductor Georg Solti held the record for the most Grammy wins until Beyoncé claimed the crown. Throughout his four decade-long career, the British-Hungarian received 70 nominations, of which he won 31. The classical music legend won his final award in 1997 for Best Opera Recording for Wagner: Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg, and died later that year.


Beyoncé at the Grammys, by the digits

28: Grammy awards Beyoncé had won before last night’s ceremony. That already made her the female artist—and singer, male or female—with the most Grammy wins

9: Categories Beyoncé was nominated for last night—the highest number of the lot during the ceremony

88: The number of nominations Beyoncé has received over the years at the Grammys, in a tie with her husband Jay-Z. They’re the most nominated singer-songwriters in the Grammy’s history. Her nominations include work with Destiny’s Child through the late 90s and early 2000s, before she went solo in 2003

Some Grammy voters thought Beyoncé won too much

According to a Feb. 2 Variety article, several Grammy voters didn’t choose Queen Bey simply because she had won a number of times already—that was the reason a thirty-something female singer and a Grammy-winning producer-engineer, both unnamed in the article, gave for choosing to vote for people other than frontrunners like Beyoncé and Adele. “With Beyoncé, the fact that every time she does something new, it’s a big event and everyone’s supposed to quake in their shoes—it’s a little too portentous,” a music business veteran in his 70s said.


But Nadirah Simmons, formerly social media manager for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert who founded and runs Gumbo, a hip-hop social club and media platform for and by Black women, was irked by these reasons. “People just don’t like seeing Black women win ‘too much.’ It’s nasty,” she tweeted. “I’m not even gonna go too deep or get too mad because I know what it is. But I know every Black woman can relate to feeling like they’re getting just enough or not too much because someone feels jealous, envious or threatened by their greatness. We ALL know this feeling.”

A brief, non-exhaustive round up of the big 2023 Grammy wins

Song of the year: “Just Like That” by Bonnie Raitt was a surprising win. The septuagenerian’s song is the first written by a solo songwriter to win since Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” did 15 years ago. This is Raitt’s 11th win out of 30 nominations. The last one was 10 years ago, for Best Americana Album for Slipstream.

Record of the year: Lizzo bagged the coveted award for “About Damn Time,” beating ABBA, Adele, Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, and others. She dedicated the prize to Prince, who had apparently proposed a collaboration with her before his passing.

Album of the year: Harry Styles won for “Harry’s House.” This is the third solo album released by the former boy band star, who was part of One Direction.


Best new artist: Samara Joy, a rising jazz singer from the Bronx, beat other upcoming artists Anitta, Omar Apollo, DOMi & JD Beck, Muni Long, Latto, Måneskin, Tobe Nwigwe, Molly Tuttle, and Wet Leg, who were nominated in the category.

Best audio book: Viola Davis won for her autobiography Finding Me, making her the 18th person ever to achieve the EGOT winner status with an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award. She won the Oscar for best supporting actress Oscar in 2016 for Fences, the Emmy for TV drama How To Get Away With Murder, and her two Tony Award accolades include featured actress in a play for King Hedley II (2001) and lead actress in a play for Fences (2010).

Song for social change: Shervin Hajipour won for his song “Baraye” in the new special merit category introduced this year. The song, which was posted on Hajipour’s Instagram and was seen more than 40 million times in less than two days, became the anthem of Iran’s protest movement. “He was arrested but this song continues to resonate around the world for its powerful theme: women, life, freedom,” first lady Jill Biden said while presenting the award. The 25-year-old singer charged with “propaganda against the regime” and “instigating the violence” was seen wiping away tears in a darkened room in an online video when the award was announced.

Quotable: Lizzo on Beyoncé

“Beyoncé, in the fifth grade I skipped school to see you perform. My sister, she got me out of school—It was literature, I’m good—You changed my life. You sang that gospel medley and the way you made me feel, I was like, ‘I want to make people feel this way with my music.’ So thank you so much. You clearly are the artist of our lives. I love you!” —Lizzo’s speech while accepting her GrammyAdvertisement

Another history in the making with Unholy

Sam Smith and Kim Petras won the Grammy for best pop duo/group performance for their song “Unholy.” Smith, the first nonbinary artist to win the accolade, let Petras take the mic because she’s “the first transgender woman to win” in the category, she said in her acceptance speech. Besides her supportive mother, Petras also gave a shout out to Madonna and paid tribute to the late Sophie, a trans electronic producer and DJ who died in 2021.

Fun fact: Beyoncé’s daughter Blue Ivy has a Grammy

In 2021, at the age of 9, Blue Ivy won alongside her mother in the best music video category for “Brown Skin Girl.” She is the second-youngest person to win a Grammy, after Leah Peasall, who won in 2001 at the age of 8.

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