Beyonce’s record-breaking Grammy Awards tally disguises 20 years of frustration

The pop star is yet to win a Grammy for Record or Album of the Year

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 12, 2017 Singer Beyonce poses with her Grammy trophies in the press room during the 59th Annual Grammy music Awards in Los Angeles, California.  Keen to keep viewers glued to the Grammys, the Recording Academy has asked the music world's powerhouse performers to anchor yet another awards gala forced to go virtual. Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B, BTS, Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa and Billie Eilish are among the long list of musicians who will appear during the mix of live and pretaped performances on March 14, 2021. / AFP / Robyn BECK
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Judging by the massive grin on Beyonce's face during the 2021 Grammy Awards, walking up to the winner's podium never gets old – even if you do it nearly 30 times over two decades.

The pop star made history during Sunday’s ceremony by becoming the most awarded female artist in Grammy history, with 28 wins from 79 nominations.

While the numbers are certainly impressive, they mask a frustrating experience with the Grammys, which has, historically, seen Beyonce dominate in the RnB categories, but fail to make a real impact when it comes to marquee prizes such as the Song, Record and Album of the Year awards.

Since her first nomination with Destiny’s Child in 1999, Beyonce has only once won a Song of the Year Grammy, despite being repeatedly nominated over the years.

When compared to Taylor Swift, for example, who this year won her third Album of the Year award for Folklore, it must be infuriating for Beyonce to know she came so close, for so long.

That said, such relative disappointments shouldn’t blemish a trailblazing Grammy history, which has seen her honoured as a singer, performer and director.

Here is a history of Beyonce’s journey through the Grammys.

2001: The Grammys said her name for the first time

It was with Destiny's Child's Breakout single Say My Name that Beyonce received the first of two trophies for Best RnB Song and Best RnB Performance by a Duo/Group with Vocals.

2004: Her first wins as a solo artist

Upon launching her solo career, the industry knew they had a star in waiting with Beyonce.

She more than fulfilled that promise with debut album Dangerously in Love, spawning five Grammy awards including wins for Best Contemporary RnB Album and Best RnB Song for lead single Crazy in Love, featuring future husband Jay-Z.

2006: The first major disappointment

After garnering just one nomination in 2005 for Destiny's Child single Lose My Breath, the group returned with force the following year with five nominations including best Contemporary RnB Album for Destiny Fulfilled.

While it turned out to be another disappointing evening for the girls, Beyonce picked up an award for So Amazing, a collaborative track with Stevie Wonder.

2007: Taking over the RnB categories

Another Beyonce solo album, another swag of nominations.

From the three genre specific nominations B'Day garnered, Beyonce won for Best Contemporary RnB Album. She repeated the achievement two years later with third album I Am... Sasha Fierce.

2010: She finally wins Song of the Year

It was a long time coming, but Beyonce finally broke through into the major categories and picked up Song of the Year for Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It). The track also went on to win three more awards including Best RnB Song.

2015: Beck pipped her for the big win

One of the biggest upsets in Grammys history.

Despite releasing what has been hailed a masterpiece, Beyonce's eponymous album couldn't convince voters it was more worthy than Album of the Year winner, the moderately received Morning Phase by singer and songwriter Beck.

Rubbing salt to the wound – depending on which side of the recording booth you are, of course – Beyonce’s sterling work only won the technical award for Best Surround Sound Album.

2017: Not even Bey could overcome the Adele Grammy-winning machine

History repeated itself two years later when Beyonce's politically charged Lemonade – which critics also viewed as brilliant – was shut out of all major categories due to the juggernaut that was Adele's 25.

The gazillion-selling album seemingly took everything including Song and Album of the Year Grammys. In a classy gesture, Adele dedicating her Album of the Year win to a tearful Beyonce.

2020: More than just a singer and songwriter, but a director too

It may appear as a minor victory, but here's guessing Beyonce views her Best Music Film win for Homecoming as one of her most satisfying.

Released on Netflix, Beyonce produced, co-directed and wrote the documentary that follows her preparations in the run up to her headline set at 2018 Coachella music festival.

It may be less than two years old, but the release has been hailed as influential by a new generation of stars including Rita Ora and Camila Cabello.

EDITOR'S PICKS
MORE FROM THE NATIONAL