Harry Styles Slammed For Clueless Remark During His Album Of The Year Grammys Speech
Harry Styles betrayed his boy band roots Sunday night when his Album of the Year Grammys speech seemed like it was heading in one direction, but suddenly took a sharp turn south.
The “Sign of the Times” singer ended a pretty standard acceptance speech by saying: “This doesn’t happen to people like me very often.”
That remark rubbed some viewers the wrong way, considering he was up against the likes of the Puerto Rican-born Bad Bunny and Beyoncé — whose respective wins would have signified the first Spanish-language album to win the award or the first Black woman to win the award since 1999.
To many, a white artist winning the coveted award felt like just another instance of the Recording Academy’s tendency to praise and maintain the status quo.
It probably doesn’t help that the Recording Academy’s membership is only 31% women and 33% from “traditionally underrepresented communities,” according to the organization.
“‘This doesn’t happen to people like me’ is the most white privilege-iest thing to ever be uttered at an awards show ever for all time,” Vulture podcast host and former NPR journalist Sam Sanders tweeted shortly after Styles’ speech.
“This doesn’t happen to people like me” is the most white privilege-iest thing to ever be uttered at an awards show ever for all time
— Sam Sanders (@samsanders) February 6, 2023
Other Twitter users agreed:
I’m trying to understand what that white boy meant by “this doesn’t happen for people like me.” ????
— Rude Spanish 🐕 (@shady_rican) February 6, 2023
Harry Styles saying this doesn't happen often to people like me in place where Benito might have become the Puerto Rican to win that album and Beyonce the 1st black women since 1999 is WILD. I need him to explain what identity he was using for that speech cause... pic.twitter.com/33DAXiKOgO
— Chichi (@chichimajaha) February 6, 2023
Harry styles said “this doesn’t happen to people like me very often” and I gotta be honest I can’t think of a type of people this happens for more
— hey man nice tweet (@jazz_inmypants) February 6, 2023
“This doesn’t happen to people like me often,” possibly an even more severe case of foot in mouth than anything Harry Styles said on the DON’T WORRY DARLING press tour
— Isaac Feldberg (@isaacfeldberg) February 6, 2023
“This doesn’t happen to people like me very often” says the white man who uses queer aesthetics to sell records and won album of the year over a Black woman.
— Zach Stafford (@ZachStafford) February 6, 2023
“This doesn’t happen to people like me often”
- a white man winning aoty for the umpteenth time in history
— ✨Glendale 3/17 & 3/18✨🌙 (@DaynerysSwift_) February 6, 2023
Harry Styles saying people like him don’t win very often. Meanwhile, there are watch parties in Puerto Rico rooting for Benito to win the first-ever Puerto Rican Album of the Year at the Grammys. El chiste se cuenta solo.
— Frances Solá-Santiago (@frances_sola) February 6, 2023
— Hiu Jaspersson (@waterylemonade) February 6, 2023
"this doesn't often happen to people like me" YOU'RE A CIS STRAIGHT WHITE BRITISH MALE WHO USES QUEER AESTHETICS TO MAKE UP FOR YOUR SUBPAR MUSIC TO REMAIN RELEVANT AFTER DISBANDING WITH THE BAND WHICH YOU HAD SECOND RATE VOCALS IN. IT HAPPENS TO PEOPLE LIKE YOU ALL THE TIME!
— Tayoncé Defense Attorney is Glitchy (@lesbeyonsay) February 6, 2023
Harry Styles can’t act and can’t sing, yet was in two movies this year and won AOTY. Never give up on your dreams, white dudes.
— Danez (@Danez_Smif) February 6, 2023
Although it’s unclear what Styles meant by “people like me,” many of his fans assumed he meant someone who began their career in a boy band.
Styles’ representation did not respond to a request for comment.
Although Beyoncé struck out once again on the coveted award, she certainly didn’t go home empty-handed. She became the first Black woman to win the Best Dance/Electronic Album Grammy for her critically-acclaimed 2022 album “Renaissance,” while also becoming the artist with the most Grammy Award wins ever.
Yet her repeated defeat in the Album of the Year category — in which she’s been nominated four times — continues to baffle music lovers due to her albums’ undeniable cultural significance.
This includes fellow artist Adele.
In 2017, when Adele’s album “25” beat Beyoncé “Lemonade” for Album of the Year, the “Someone Like You” singer famously rejected the accolade during her acceptance speech.
“I can’t possibly accept this award, and I’m very humbled and I’m very grateful and gracious, but my artist of my life is Beyoncé and this album, to me, the ‘Lemonade’ album, was so monumental, Beyoncé,” Adele said during her speech. “You are our light. And the way that you make me and my friends feel, the way you make my Black friends feel, is empowering. You make them stand up for themselves and I love you. I always have and I always will.”