Sunday night’s Grammy Awards broadcast was relatively uneventful. Sam Smith won four statues, Taylor Swift danced in her front-row seat (and didn’t win anything), and Pharell Williams brought “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” to his Hans Zimmer-tweaked rendition of “Happy.”
Perhaps the only truly surprising win at this year’s awards was Beck’s upset in the Album of the Year category. Beck’s Morning Phase beat out Beyoncé’s secret album, Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour, and Pharell’s Girl, despite being the lowest-selling album since 2008 to win the coveted award.
Of course, Beck’s win was made all the more memorable by Kanye West’s near-repeat of his infamous 2009 Taylor Swift microphone-snatching stunt, although this time, West stopped short of actually grabbing Beck’s mic.
Instead, he complained to E! after the show that Beyoncé’s album should have won Album of the Year. West said:
I don’t even know what he said. I just know that the Grammys, if they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain’t gonna play with them no more. ‘Flawless,’ Beyoncé video. And Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé and at this point, we tired of it because what happens is when you keep on diminishing art and not respecting the craft and smacking people in the face after they deliver monumental feats of music, you’re disrespectful to inspiration.
With all the headlines the episode has been getting, the Independent reports that sales of Morning Phase are up 1,342% on Amazon.
Beck, for his part, took West’s stunt good-naturedly, telling Us Weekly he wasn’t bothered by it at all.
“I was just so excited he was coming up,” Beck told the magazine. “He deserves to be on stage as much as anybody. How many great records has he put out in the last five years, right?”
Beck said he was as shocked as anybody that Beyoncé missed out on the award.
“I thought she was going to win. Come on, she’s Beyoncé!” he said.
Side note: Kanye may want to take his own advice about “respecting artistry;” Beck plays 12 instruments, wrote every track on Morning Phase, and has been making hits since 1993. Beyoncé’s new album was written by no less than 20 different songwriters.