Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Adele v. Beyonce In A Nutshell: Adele Had Hits on “25,” Beyonce Had None on “Lemonade”


The Adele v. Beyonce saga continues. Adele split her trophy in half for Beyonce, which was lovely. Both “Lemonade” and “25” are very good albums. So why didn’t Beyonce win?

Very simple: today Adele has four singles on iTunes. Beyonce has none. “25” far outsold “Lemonade.” That’s it. That’s what Grammy committees and voters look at. Is it right? Nope. But that’s what it is.

Much as I love “Lemonade,” it had no hit singles. “Formation” did the best, and topped out at number 10. Then came “Sorry,” in May, which was never “worked” at pop radio. It hit number 11 at urban stations. “Hold Up” had a brief life at pop later in the year. By then, the damage was done.

“Sandcastles,” which Beyonce sang at the Grammys, was never a single. In the Staples Center, her voice was like magic on that song. But few people really know it. Same for “Love Drought.”

Beyonce is her own worst enemy when it comes to marketing records. These “surprise” releases, hidden releases, Tidal specials because of Jay Z– all of it has kept her out of the mainstream. Then you look at that self-indulgent crazy piece she put on at the Grammys Sunday night. What was all that? The Last Supper?

Beyonce, come out and sing a song straight up. You’ll get hits and win Grammys. Whoever is giving you advice is doing a bad job. Make Lemonade out of lemons.

PS “Lemonade” could almost be the female “What’s Going On” or “Songs in the Key of Life.” Those albums had four hit singles apiece. Just sayin…Some things never change.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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