This is Beyoncé. She is the most nominated woman in Grammy history and the second-most awarded woman in Grammy history.
You might know her as the woman who's sung every song you've screeched along to in your car or on the subway over the last two decades. She's been entertaining us since before most of Fifth Harmony was born. She's married to some rapper, who she's soon to surpass in most nominations, and has birthed a daughter, Blue Ivy, who will one day run the world. Beyoncé is currently carrying the two leaders of the next wave of black liberation in her uterus.
Lesser mortals keep trying to throw conspiracy theories at Bey to see what sticks: Was she actually born in 1981? Did she actually birth Blue Ivy? Did she maybe birth Solange? Those are all distractions. The real conspiracy is that, despite her humanitarian efforts to bestow the world's heathens with a modicum of culture, Beyoncé still has not been bestowed with a Grammy for album of the year.
Beyoncé does not need your Grammy award for album of the year.
Behind the glitz and glamour and gilded trophies, awards shows are basically glorified advertisements for albums that could use a sales bump. If there's one thing Beyoncé doesn't need, it's a sloppy, overwrought commercial in the form of a gold gramophone hand-off.
In 2013, she dropped an album without any fanfare at midnight and sold over 400,000 copies in 24 hours, and remade the music industry in the process. Since then, college professors have turned Beyoncé into homework. She used some sporting event to force America to discuss black liberation at the water cooler. In 2016, she proved with her visual album Lemonade that she already has the power to command an entire nation to watch HBO for an hourlong movie about the subtle contradictions and deep power of black womanhood.
While other artists make music to entertain or soothe, Beyoncé creates art to provoke. Beyoncé's visual album Lemonade started the fourth wave of feminism with "Pray You Catch Me" and ended it at "Formation."
To Beyoncé, the Grammys are a child in need of charity. And instead of sending 25 cents a day, Beyoncé dons a flawless white wedding dress and hands an award to some mortal named Taylor Swift. In the process, she slays so hard, she probably jump-started an entire economy of people trying to create, sell and market copycat looks that will give you a Beyoncé look at Keri Hilson prices.
Why does Beyoncé need an album of the year Grammy? Would she be able to even tell it apart from the 20 she already has? She's probably already melted those down to make teething rings and a rattles for her upcoming messianic twins.
Beyoncé will be fine. The Grammys do not give Beyoncé legitimacy. She gives them legitimacy. This is the same organization that denied her self-titled album the award — and didn't nominate 4 or B'Day, even though they're two of her best works. As queen Maxine Waters would say, the Grammys have "no credibility." Beyoncé doesn't need to be a part of that mess.