Beyoncé was nominated in nine categories at Sunday’s 65th Annual Grammy Awards, and she won two of those trophies — Best Dance/Electronic Recording for “Break My Soul,” and Best Traditional R&B Performance for “Plastic Off the Sofa” — during the live-streamed, pre-show Premiere Ceremony on Sunday afternoon. When the main ceremony began airing on CBS at 5 p.m. PT, host Trevor Noah pointed out that these two wins, Beyoncé’s 29th and 30th overall, placed her just one statuette away from tying with Sir Georg Solti, the late classical music conductor, for the most wins by any artist in Grammy history.
But when that win expectedly occurred, about 40 minutes into Sunday’s live, primetime telecast, Beyoncé was not there to witness Grammy history in the making.
Instead, the diva’s longtime collaborator, The-Dream, leapt onstage to claim her Best R&B Song award for “Cuff It.” And while his brief, rude remarks were hardly befitting to the Grammy queen, thankfully, Noah and a surprise recipient swooped in to keep things classy.
“Y’all know n****s be on CP time,” The-Dream, whose real name is Terius Youngdell Nash, said with a shrug, before he started to dash away from the podium. (The-Dream’s comment was censored by CBS, although the non-bleeped version quickly surfaced online.) That’s when Noah quipped to the confused crowd at Downtown L.A.’s Crypto.com Arena, “Beyoncé is on her way. You know, the upside of hosting the Grammys in L.A. is that everyone can be here, but the downside of hosting the Grammys in L.A. is the traffic. Beyoncé is on her way!”
Fortunately, 2023 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Nile Rodgers — a joint winner for “Cuff It,” due to his additional writing credit on the song — was on hand, and Noah practically begged the legendary musician and producer to emerge from the stage wings and give a more eloquent speech. “Nile, please say something before we go. Please say something. The legend, ladies and gentlemen!”
While Rodgers presumably didn’t have any speech prepared, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award-winner was as articulate as ever. And the anecdote he shared demonstrated that he is always skilled when it comes to reacting in the moment, on the spot.
“When I got called to play on this song, it was the most organic thing that ever happened to me. I heard the song, and I just said, ‘All right, I want to play on that, right now.’ And it was one take,” Rodgers shared. “I promise, I played it, it was one take. … It was just what I felt in my heart, and I’m so happy to be working with y’all.”
Noah also pointed out, “Just for reference, Beyoncé has now equaled the record for most Grammys of any individual of all time.” And about a half-hour after the singer’s surprising no-show, the host proclaimed, “When you set a record, there’s no way you don’t get to hold your Grammy and celebrate that. The queen is in the building. Beyoncé Knowles, ladies and gentlemen!” The host then personally handed Beyoncé her Best R&B Song trophy and joked, “I was shocked to find out that traffic could stop you. I thought you traveled through space and time.”
Fortunately, Beyoncé had another chance to make history — and deliver at least one acceptance speech of her own — when Renaissance later won for Best Dance/Electronic Album. This officially established her as the most-decorated Grammy recipient of all time and, as Noah worded it, “finally ended the GOAT debate.”
“I’m trying not to be too emotional,” Beyoncé said through tears as she accepted her record-setting 31st Grammy, thanking God, her late uncle, her “beautiful husband” and their “beautiful three children” at home, her parents, and the queer community for “inventing the genre” of dance music. “I’m trying to just to receive this night.”