Harry Styles made a comment that raised eyebrows while accepting album of the year at the 2023 Grammys.
The 29-year-old British star took home the top prize on Sunday for “Harry’s House,” his third solo album.
“On nights like tonight, it’s obviously so important for us to remember that there is no such thing as ‘best’ in music. I don’t think any of us sit in the studio thinking, making decisions based on what is gonna get us one of these,” he said during his acceptance speech, gesturing to his trophy.
“This is really, really kind. I’m so, so grateful,” he continued, adding, “This doesn’t happen to people like me very often.”
It’s unclear what Styles meant by “people like me,” but given the Recording Academy’s history of favoring white artists, the comment sparked mild backlash online. (A representative for Styles did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.)
In the 65-year history of the Grammys, only 11 Black artists have won album of the year.
White men — including bands and duos fronted by white men — have won nearly half the time, beginning with the Cleveland-born composer Henry Mancini in 1959. Styles is the 33rd white man to accept the award, following artists like Beck (2015), Daft Punk (2014), and Mumford & Sons (2013).
“this doesn’t happen to people like me very often” IT LITERALLY ONLY HAPPENS TO PEOPLE LIKE YOU????— َ (@ungodlywests) February 6, 2023