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How Beyoncé Became the Grammys GOAT

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
She may have again been shut out of the Big 4 categories, but with more total wins than anyone else, Beyoncé is officially the Grammys GOAT.

It’s inarguable at this point: Beyoncé is the Grammys GOAT.

The gleaming crown that sits upon her head has a bit of a different shine today, the morning after Queen B became the winningest artist in Grammy’s history.

And though she was again shut out of the Big 4 categories by the Recording Academy, her greatness cannot be denied. Beyoncé has persevered through existing structural issues within the Recording Academy to become the Grammys all-time award leader, surpassing Georg Solti, who won 31.

Entering Sunday night, the Houston native had earned 88 nominations, tying her husband Jay-Z with nine nominations for her latest album, Renaissance. The nine nominations were the most of any artist or group at the 2023 Grammy Awards. Renaissance was arguably the most acclaimed album of last year, as Vulture, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, The Observer, The New York Times, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter, The Guardian, and Entertainment Weekly all dubbed it the best of 2022.

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Beyoncé started the night with 28 Grammys. But once the show started, the wins came rolling in. She won the Grammy for:

  • Best Dance/Electronic Recording Winner for “Break My Soul”
  • Best Traditional R&B Performance for “Plastic Off the Sofa”
  • Best R&B Song for “Cuff It”
  • Best Dance/Electronic Album for Renaissance.

However, what does not make sense is the consistency with which Beyoncé has not won awards within the Grammys’ Big 4 categories (Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist). By nature, Beyoncé could not win Best New Artist more than once, though she was never nominated for it. Her one Big 4 win came in 2010 for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” No Black woman has won the Album of the Year award since Whitney Houston’s 1994 victory. Black women who have been nominated since 1994 include Mariah Carey (twice), Atlantean group TLC, India.Arie, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Janelle Monáe, Lizzo and H.E.R. (twice). Beyoncé has been nominated for the Album of the Year award four times.

Even as Recording Academy voters continue to deny her, Beyoncé moves forward. Doing so has her reaching heights no one has ever seen.

Beyoncé by the Numbers
  • 332,000: units sold in Renaissance’s first week
  • 88: total Grammy nominations (tied for 1st place with Jay-Z)
  • 81: Total songs to chart on Billboard Hot 100 list
  • 32: total Grammy wins, No. 1 all time
  • 21: Top 10 hits on Billboard Hot 100
  • 8: Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hits

The Business of Queen B

All the while Beyoncé has continued to release music, she has found other ways to make money as well. Queen B founded Parkwood Entertainment in 2010, an entertainment, management, production, and record label. As expected, Parkwood Entertainment has produced every Beyoncé music release since 4 in 2011. It has also created films and TV specials with its latest release being Black is King in 2020 for Disney+. She also signed rising R&B stars Chloe x Halle, two sisters from Atlanta, Georgia who received critical acclaim following their R&B album Ungodly Hour in 2020.

Parkwood Entertainment previously had a deal with Topshop for Beyoncé’s Ivy Park, but Beyoncé and her company cut ties with the brand after sexual misconduct, bullying and racial harassment allegations were revealed about Arcadia Group owner Sir Philip Green. Topshop had originally owned 50% of Ivy Park before Parkwood Entertainment acquired total ownership after the allegations surfaced.

A year later, Beyoncé took her talents to Adidas, where she’s made a habit of selling out her apparel releases.

A decade ago, Queen B inked a $50 million dollar deal with Pepsi to become a spokesperson for the soda company. At the time, Pepsi was the NFL’s Super Bowl Halftime Show sponsor, and one year after Beyoncé came on board, she performed at Super Bowl XLVII.

More recently, Beyoncé received a bigger check from streaming giant Netflix — a total of $60 million for a three-project deal. As part of the deal, Netflix captured behind-the-scenes footage of her Coachella set titled, “Homecoming.”

Beyoncé’s Victory Lap

While there may have been celebrations in Los Angeles after the Grammy’s concluded, Beyoncé can begin her victory lap this May in Stockholm when she kicks off her Renaissance World Tour. In total, she will travel to 41 cities from May through September for her second solo stadium tour.

If history is any indication, Beyoncé is set to make plenty. In fact, every time she tours, she seems to take home even more than she did the last time.

Beyoncé Solo Touring History:
  • Formation World Tour (2016): 49 shows, $256 million grossed
  • Mrs. Carter Wold Tour (2013-14): 132 shows, $229 million grossed
  • I Am… World Tour (2009): 108 shows, $119 million grossed
  • Beyoncé Experience (2007): 96 shows, $90 million grossed
  • Dangerously in Love Tour (2003): 10 shows, $3 million grossed

The $256 million mark from the Formation Tour will be a difficult feat to eclipse because, as of now, the Renaissance Tour has fewer shows. But the frenzy amongst fans to see Beyoncé rages on. Details around ticket sales have not yet been released.

And so the 64th Grammy Awards was historic, both for Beyoncé and the awards themselves. The most nominated woman in Recording Academy history became the most decorated person in the organization’s history. As Beyoncé adds yet another accomplishment to further cement her legacy, the Recording Academy has work to do. This year, the academy had a chance to break its now 29th consecutive year of not voting for a Black woman to win album of the year. That lack of acknowledgement won’t stop Queen B. With an upcoming tour, two budding stars signed to her record label and a booming fashion brand, Beyoncé is still as unstoppable as she has ever been.

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About The Author
Randall Williams
Randall Williams
Randall Williams is a former Staff Writer at Boardroom specializing in sports business and music. He previously worked for Sportico, Andscape and Bloomberg. His byline has also been syndicated in the Boston Globe and Time Magazine. Williams' notable profile features include NFL Executive VP Troy Vincent, Dreamville co-founder Ibrahim Hamad, BMX biker Nigel Sylvester, and both Shedeur and Shilo Sanders. Randall, a graduate of "The Real HU" -- Hampton University — is most proud of scooping Howard University joining Jordan Brand nearly three months before the official announcement.