What’s the deal with Beyoncé and award-show controversy?

Beyonce attends TIDAL X: 1015 at Barclays Center on October 15, 2016 in New York, United States.
Beyonce attends TIDAL X: 1015 at Barclays Center on October 15, 2016 in New York, United States. William Volcov/Brazil Photo Press/LatinContent/Getty Images

Beyoncé seems to stir controversy whenever an award show is around the corner, and most of the time she doesn’t even have to do anything for the drama to start.

This time, the dispute began when Rihanna liked a fan’s social-media post on Tuesday that claimed she’d been “snubbed” by the Grammys in favour of Beyoncé.

The 2017 Grammy nominations were revealed yesterday and Rihanna wasn’t included in the Album of the Year category with Beyoncé, Adele, Justin Bieber, Drake and country singer Sturgill Simpson.

READ MORE: Grammy nominations 2017: Bieber, Drake lead Canadian charge at music awards

Rihanna’s collaboration with Drake, Work, was nominated for Record of the Year but not Song of the Year.

According to TheShadeRoom’s Instagram account, the fan’s post Rihanna liked suggested that she wasn’t nominated for more Grammys because the judges didn’t want her “passing” Beyoncé’s leading nine nominations this year.

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Rihanna responded to the allegations, admitting to have “never actually read [the] caption.” She also writes, “We don’t need to be putting black women against each other! We deserve to be celebrated, and the Grammy Academy agrees!”




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READ MORE: Kanye West rants about Beyoncé, Jay Z, ends concert after 2 songs

This isn’t the first time controversy has surrounded Beyoncé and her award-show appearances, nominations and the aftermath.

Most recently, Kanye West delivered another public screed on Dec. 19, directed at Beyoncé and her husband Jay Z, at the Sacramento, California, stop of his Saint Pablo Tour.

Captured on video by concertgoers, West told the audience he heard the Formation singer refused to perform at the MTV Video Music Awards unless she won Video of the Year over him, and he also urged her husband Jay Z to call him after the Paris robbery incident.

WATCH BELOW: Kanye West cuts concert short after going on rant about Hillary Clinton, Beyoncé and Jay-Z

Kanye West cuts concert short after going on rant about Hillary Clinton, Beyonce and Jay-Z
Kanye West cuts concert short after going on rant about Hillary Clinton, Beyonce and Jay-Z

Recently, Beyoncé caused a stir with her surprise performance at the CMA Awards on Nov.2. Many country-music folks, including longtime country-music star Travis Tritt, weighed in on her appearance, calling it unnecessary since she’s a pop-music star.

She took the stage with the Dixie Chicks and delivered a flawless performance of Daddy Lessons from her latest album Lemonade. Beyoncé remixed the song, allowing the Dixie Chicks to sing a few verses before going into part of their song Long Time Gone.

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Racist accusations popped up on social media throughout the awards show, and many people said that a pop musician had no place at a celebration of country-music achievements. Tritt, who claimed that his resentment about Beyoncé’s performance is not racism, went on a full Twitter rant.

Tritt argued that the Soul Train Awards and BET Awards don’t invite country singers to their show, so why should the CMAs host Beyoncé? “I’m insulted that the CMA thinks we have to have a pop artist on our award show to appeal to big crowds,” he tweeted.

Many people online pointed out Beyoncé’s country-music duet with Sugarland at the 2007 American Music Awards — almost 10 years ago.

READ MORE: Travis Tritt goes on rant about Beyoncé’s CMA Awards performance

Beyoncé was also highly criticized for her Super Bowl halftime performance last February, for what appeared to be a tribute to the Black Panther Party.

She took the field, flanked by dancers sporting afros and dressed in black leather and black berets — which some say are similar to the hats worn by members of the ‘60s black nationalist organization — to perform a part of Beyoncé’s (new at the time) single Formation.

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Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who appeared on Fox News’ Fox and Friends afterwards, accused the singer of attacking police with the performance.

Deeming the performance “outrageous,” Giuliani said, “This is football, it’s not Hollywood, and I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive.”

READ MORE: Madonna’s twerking triggers mixed emotions on Twitter

There was also controversy surrounding the Crazy In Love singer’s performance at the 57th Grammy Awards in 2015.

Leading into a performance of Glory by singer John Legend and rapper Common, the award-winning song for the racially charged film Selma was sung by Beyoncé.

Soul-jazz singer Ledisi Anibade Young, who portrayed Mahalia Jackson in the movie and sang the song on the soundtrack, was not asked to perform herself, and this caused a stir. Young was in the audience and also lost the Best R&B Performance Grammy to — wait for it — Beyoncé.

Ahead of the Grammys, Ledisi spoke to reporters about the controversy and acknowledged that she was “a little disappointed” she wasn’t asked to perform.

“But I got over that and I had to look at the positive and empower women,” she told The Associated Press before the show. “We have to empower each other. It’s a great thing. And one day I’ll be on that Grammy stage. Every artist wants to be on the Grammy stage. That’s part of our career is to be there. So my time will come when it’s time.”

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And lest we forget — perhaps this was truly the beginning of it all — when rapper West famously interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. When the singer accepted the Best Female Video of the Year award, West stormed the stage, taking the microphone from Swift to announce Beyoncé deserved the award instead.

“Thank you so much!” Swift began. “I always dreamed about what it would be like to maybe win one of these some day, but I never actually thought it would have happened. I sing country music so thank you so much for giving me a chance to win a VMA award…”

Before she could continue, West broke in. “Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ll let you finish, but Beyoncé has one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!”


Everyone at the Radio City Music Hall looked stunned, as the cameras captured an astonished and horrified Beyoncé still in her seat. Soon after, the audience gave a standing ovation in support of Swift and the infamous internet meme was created.

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Beyoncé usually remains silent on these topics of controversy and rarely, if ever, speaks out in response to the backlash. It’s anybody’s guess as to why she’s so frequently in the centre of the drama, but it’s safe to assume a woman with power is polarizing, and haters will come out of the woodwork to bring her down whenever possible.

With files from Chris Jancelewicz