The Recording Academy can’t ever seem to get it right when it comes to Beyoncé. With the release and nomination of each of her culture-shifting albums, the 85-year-old institution makes a point of tip-toeing as close to the line of recognizing her influence as possible without actually doing so. Even on the night that she became the most decorated musician in Grammy Award history, she was shut out of the major categories once again. But even if the Recording Academy refuses to give Beyoncé her flowers, Lizzo will make sure she has an entire field of them.
“Beyoncé, whew,” Lizzo said in her speech while accepting Record of the Year for “About Damn Time” on Sunday night. “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.”
Looking out across the audience, Lizzo tried to find where her icon was standing through the tears in her eyes. “You changed my life,” she told her from the stage. “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.”
This came after Lizzo was spotted hilariously searching for Beyoncé after host Trevor Noah mentioned that she was set to attend the show. The singer was seen dramatically spinning around in her chair with a wide-eyed look on her face at the mere mention of Beyonce’s name.
Later in the night, Lizzo finally got her moment up close and personal with Beyonce when they snapped a photo together. “NOBODY TALK TO ME !!!!!” she captioned the shot.
In an interview with Elle UK last year, Lizzo recalled that fateful day when Beyoncé – still a member of Destiny’s Child at the time – changed her outlook on life as a creative artist. “They had an album-signing event at a Wal-Mart and I skipped school to go see them,” she recalled. “I listened to them sing their gospel medley. I’ve seen Beyoncé maybe up to 10 times live now, and she continues to give me that feeling…That excitement never goes away.”
Lizzo added: “She doesn’t just put out music for the sake of putting out music – there’s going to be something real, you know what I mean? A teachable moment. Every time I hear her, it’s like, “Man, I want to make people feel this way. How can I make people feel this way, too?’”
Throughout the night, Lizzo sat next to Adele and celebrated Beyoncé while the minutes counted down to the moment when she would be passed over for Album of the Year by yet another white artist, with Harry Styles winning for Harry’s House. Lizzo celebrated his win, too, excitedly capturing his reaction to his name being called on her phone. With enough love to go around at that moment, Lizzo made it clear that no amount of golden trophies or praise from an outdated institution could replace the power of a musician’s tangible influence.
When Adele accepted the award for 25 in 2017, beating out Lemonade, her speech echoed the same sentiments as Lizzo’s. “I can’t possibly accept this award,” she started. “I’m very humbled and very grateful and gracious, but my artist of my life is Beyoncé.”