Jay-Z calls out Grammys for never giving Beyoncé Album of the Year in acceptance speech

(LR) Honoree Jay-Z accepts the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award with Blue Ivy Carter onstage during the 66th GRAMMY Awards at Crypto.com Arena on Feb. 4, 2024, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

In a speech accepting the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award at the 66th annual Grammy Awards, Jay-Z called out the Recording Academy for never giving his wife, Beyoncé, Album of the Year despite her earning the most Grammy awards of all time

Jay-Z, 54, stood on stage next to his daughter, 12-year-old Blue Ivy, to accept the award and recalled the times that rap artists were outspoken about not getting enough attention from the Grammys commensurate with music sales. 

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He noted how Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff boycotted the 1989 Grammys in 1989 over the rap awards not being televised.

"And then they went to a hotel and watched the Grammys," Jay-Z said. "I ain’t even understand. It wasn’t a great boycott."

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The rapper and entrepreneur said that he also later boycotted attending the Grammys in 1998 after DMX wasn’t nominated despite having two No. 1 albums that year. 

"I’m just saying… we love y’all, we love ya’ll, we love y’all and we want y’all to get it right," Jay-Z said. "At least get it close to right."

Jay-Z, who has been nominated for 88 Grammys and won 24, then turned the attention to Beyoncé’s career while noting how the music voting is "subjective."

"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."

Beyoncé became the winningest artist in Grammy history in 2023 with a record 32 wins. She has been nominated for Album of the Year four times, but lost each time: first to Taylor Swift, then to Beck, then to Adele, and last year to Harry Styles.

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"Some of you are going to go home tonight and feel like you’ve been robbed," Jay-Z said during his speech.

"Some of you may get robbed," he said. "Some of you don’t belong in the category."

As the audience reacted to his shade, Jay-Z quickly added: "When I get nervous I tell the truth."

"Forget the Grammys for a second. Just in life," he continued. "You gotta keep showing up until they give you all those accolades you feel you deserve. Until they call you chairman, until they call you a genius, until they call you the greatest of all time. You feel me?"

This story was reported from Cincinnati.