Harry Styles "People Like Me" Grammy Speech Earns Backlash

After saying winning Album of the Year doesn't happen to "people like me," his critics were swift to react.

BYErika Marie
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65th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Press Room

Sure, he won Album of the Year over Beyoncé, but that wasn't all that earned Harry Styles pushback. The megastar won big at the 2023 Grammys over the weekend, and it was a victory that came with controversy. Beyoncé, too, was nominated for the category, but unfortunately for the BeyHive, Renaissance didn't take home the title. Still, Bey made history after accepting her 32nd Grammy win, making her the most awarded artist in the ceremony's history.

Win or lose, dozens of stars celebrated the awards. They were photographed on the red carpet and even visited one another during the ceremony. Styles looked utterly shocked at winning Album of the Year, and he expressed how he didn't expect to take home the gold. “I think on nights like tonight, it’s important for us to remember there is no such thing as ‘best’ in music," he said.

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"I don’t think any of us sit in the studio making decisions on what is going to get us one of these,” Styles further shared. “This doesn’t happen to people like me very often and this is so, so nice. Thank you very much." The gracious acceptance speech seemed harmless enough, but people took to social media quickly to voice their frustrations.

It became a war between Styles's fans and his critics. Attackers pointed out that the singer is a rich, white male, while his supporters called them out for not recognizing class structure in the U.K. It's a battle that has even spawned op-eds from music journalists, but Styles has not commented on the controversy. It was also reported that he didn't expect to win over Beyoncé and thought the Renaissance hitmaker was a shoo-in to win. However, anonymous Grammy voters told Variety that they purposefully didn't vote for Bey because she wins so often.

Despite the chaotic conversation, the Grammys stunned the world with its Hip Hop 50th Anniversary tribute. Questlove helped co-curate the performance that hosted dozens of our favorite Rap artists, including our pioneers that delivered classics. Check out a few reactions to Harry Styles below.

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About The Author
Erika Marie is a seasoned journalist, editor, and ghostwriter who works predominantly in the fields of music, spirituality, mental health advocacy, and social activism. The Los Angeles editor, storyteller, and activist has been involved in the behind-the-scenes workings of the entertainment industry for nearly two decades. E.M. attempts to write stories that are compelling while remaining informative and respectful. She's an advocate of lyrical witticism & the power of the pen. Favorites: Motown, New Jack Swing, '90s R&B, Hip Hop, Indie Rock, & Punk; Funk, Soul, Harlem Renaissance Jazz greats, and artists who innovate, not simply replicate.