Backstage in the press room, Adele expanded on her heartbreak that Beyoncé didn’t win.
“Like I said in my speech, my Album of the Year is Lemonade,” she told reporters. “So, a piece of me did die inside, as a Beyoncé stan—not going to lie. I was completely rooting for her, I voted for her.”
Still on the topic of Beyoncé, the singer continued, “It’s her time to win. My view is kind of what the f*** does she have to do to win album of the year? I felt this album showed another side to her that we haven’t seen and I felt blessed to be brought into that situation.”
Accepting her award in tears earlier that evening, Adele thanked the academy and talked about reclaiming a bit of herself after having difficulties with motherhood. Then she addressed Beyoncé, praising Lemonade as monumental, beautiful and soul-baring.
The Hello singer refused to accept the award on stage.
“My life is Beyoncé, and the album to me, the Lemonade album, Beyoncé, was so monumental, and so well thought out,” she told Beyoncé and the crowd. “And so beautiful and soul bearing and we all got to see another side of you that you don’t always let us see, and we appreciate that. All us artists adore you. You are our light.”
Adele revealed she spoke to Beyoncé before and after winning.
“I spoke to her before just to let her know how honoured and privileged I felt to be nominated alongside her, and we spoke afterward as well and she was very gracious and humble, as always, as we’ve come to expect, And the reason I felt the need to say something is because my album of the year is Lemonade. She is my icon of my whole life.”
Adele wore a lemon brooch at the ceremony to show her support for Lemonade.
Beyoncé did take home two wins for Urban Contemporary Album and Music Video of the Year.
In recent years, the Academy Awards have been accused of slighting actors of colour and the Grammys had avoided viral campaigns like #OscarsSoWhite, which began after not one African-American actor landed an acting nod two years in a row.
The Grammys featured memorable performances by the likes of Bruno Mars and A Tribe Called Quest, big victories by Chance the Rapper and David Bowie on Sunday, but they were overshadowed by Adele’s triumph and how she responded.
The Recording Academy did nothing to calm criticism that black artists are overshadowed in major awards by more conservative white musicians.
WATCH BELOW: 2017 Grammys: Who’s Going, Who’s Not?
Singer Frank Ocean, who boycotted the Grammy Awards this year by not submitting his name for consideration, called the Grammy Awards broadcast’s producer Ken Ehrlich and writer David Wild “old” and said that “winning a TV award” doesn’t make him successful, in a new tumblr post.
He also criticized the Grammy producers for giving Swift Best Album over Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly.
“I’ve actually been tuning into CBS around this time of year for a while to see who gets the top honor,” Ocean wrote. “And you know what’s really not ‘great TV,’ guys? 1989 getting Album of the Year over To Pimp a Butterfly. Hands down one of the most faulty TV moments I’ve seen. Believe the people.” He ended his note with: “And if you’re up for a discussion about the cultural bias and general nerve damage the show you produce suffers from, then I’m all for it.”
Ocean previously said that the Grammys were “dated” and out of touch with young black artists.
Ehrlich responded to the two-time Grammy winner’s criticism by saying artists like Ocean should show up and perform in order to better represent themselves and their community.
WATCH BELOW: ‘I haven’t shaved my head yet’: Katy Perry takes a jab at Britney Spears
“If they’re concerned about the representation of hip hop on the show,” he said, “they need to respond and say ‘Yeah, of course I want to do it.’ They’ve all done it in the past. Without overstating it, I think we were very instrumental in the growth of Kanye West’s career.”
Beyoncé’s sister, Solange Knowles, tweeted a link to Ocean’s recent Grammy takedown on tumblr and added, “wuddup frank.”
With files from The Associated Press