“Black music has never been respected by the Grammys to the point that it should be,” Diddy said in January. Legend concurs.
John Legend made a provocative comment in the July issue of Entertainment Weekly. Asked about Diddy’s blunt comments in January about how Black music doesn’t get its due at the annual Grammy Awards, Legend replied: “It’s almost impossible for a Black artist to win Album of the Year. How many years do we have to see Beyoncé snubbed? Kanye [West] has never won. It’s kind of insane…We’ve got to do something, because that’s a terrible record, and Diddy is right to complain about it.”
Legend’s comments carry some weight because he is an 11-time Grammy winner (and an EGOT, to boot). Moreover, he was elected this year to the Recording Academy’s 40-member board of trustees.
But is he right in his assertions? Is it “almost impossible for a Black artist to win album of the year”? Let’s look at the facts.
Of the 62 albums that have won album of the year, 12 – nearly 20% — are by Black artists (as the lead artist).
The most recent Black artist to win the album of the year, Herbie Hancock, won 12 years ago. Even if a Black artist wins when the 63rd annual Grammy Awards are presented on Jan. 31—and The Weeknd and Lil