5 most iconic Grammy acceptance speeches of all time

Harry Styles wins Best Pop Vocal Album for ‘Harry‘s House’ (Image via Twitter/@RecordingAcad)
Harry Styles wins Best Pop Vocal Album for ‘Harry‘s House’ (Image via Twitter/@RecordingAcad)

Receiving a Grammy is one of the most significant accomplishments for any singer. Traditionally, after receiving an award, the recipient delivers a speech of acceptance, some of which become so famous that they are discussed for years to come.

Considered music’s biggest night, the Grammy Awards 2023, returned on Sunday, February 5, 2023. The prestigious ceremony, hosted by South African comedian Trevor Noah in his third stint as a Grammy anchor, was held at the Arena in Los Angeles.

This year's awards were won by Beyonce, Harry Styles, Lizzo, Kendrick Lamar, and more, with breathtaking performances by several artists.

On that note, Let's examine some of the most legendary Grammy acceptance speeches ever.

5 legendary acceptance speeches at the Grammy Awards

1) Lauryn Hill accepts Artist of the Year at 1999 Grammys


At the 41st Annual Grammy Awards in 1999, Lauryn Hill made history by becoming the first hip-hop artist to win 'Album Of The Year' for her debut studio album, The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill. She went on to win four more awards that evening.

Hill's acceptance speech was humble, modest, and filled with gratitude. She said:

“None of this stuff makes us who we are. Don’t pollute who you are because you come from a source, a very important source, and that’s God."

She continued:

"I’ve been around the world, thank God, because the music has taken me that far, and I see that everything we do influences everybody around the world… Think about the ghettos of our own cities and our own towns of where we from. The kids are so influenced and inspired by what we do.”

2) Kanye West Accepts Best Rap Album for College Dropout at 2005 Grammys


The three Grammys Kanye West took home in 2005 were the first three trophies of his career. Since then, he has won 24 awards and received 75 nominations.

Kanye's iconic speech went like this:

"I plan to celebrate and scream and pop champagne every chance I get, because I’m at the GRAMMYs baby! I know everybody asked me the question. … Everybody wanted to know what I would do, if I didn’t win. I guess we’ll never know."

3) Taylor Swift Calls Kanye West out for “Famous” at the 2016 Grammys


Kanye and Taylor have had a long-standing, public feud. Kanye interrupted Taylor's 2009 MTV Video Music Awards performance and even claimed in his song Famous that he had slept with her.

Taylor addressed it in her Grammy acceptance speech in 2016, saying:

"And as the first woman to win Album of the Year at the Grammys twice, I want to say to the young woman out there, there are going to be people along the way who try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame."

She continued:

"But if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going, you will look around and you will know it was you and the people who love you who put you there, and that will be the greatest feeling in the world."

4) Lin-Manuel Miranda & “Hamilton” Cast Accept Best Musical Theater Album at the 2016 Grammys


When Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of "Hamilton" accepted the award for Best Musical Theater Album at the 2016 Grammys, they gave one of the funniest acceptance speeches in recent memory.

After receiving the award, Miranda rapped:

“We write music, we write songs to tell a story. Whether you’re King Kendrick or Jeanine Tesori. I’m sorry if I start screaming these thanks hysterically: John Buzzetti, Tim Latham, Tom Coyne, and Derek Lee.Tommy Kail set the stage to kick our boots through. Bill Sherman, Quest and Tariq, the whole Roots crew."

He continued:

"Sean at Warner/Chappell; Riggs and Craig at Atlantic. Lacamoire, my right-hand man, this frantic Hispanic is nonstop, the best idea goes in the pot, whether you’re Harnick and Bock, Pun, Biggie or Pac. The cast unstoppable, band is unbeatable, inimitable, inevitable, always inspiring me to pull through.”

5) Beyoncé's speech after breaking the all-time Grammy record in the 2023 edition


After taking home four Grammys at the 2023 event, Beyoncé set a new record with 32 total Grammy victories. Her entire speech said:

“I’m trying not to be too emotional. I’m trying to just receive this night. I want to thank God for protecting me. Thank you, God. I’d like to thank my uncle Johnny who’s not here, but he’s here in spirit."

She then continued by showering love on her loved ones and the queer community:

"I’d like to thank my parents, my father, my mother for loving me and pushing me. I’d like to thank my beautiful husband, my beautiful three children who are at home watching. I’d like to thank the queer community for your love, for inventing the genre. God bless you. Thank you so much to the Grammys. Thank you."

Beyonce took home four trophies at the 2023 ceremony, bringing her total number of honors to 32. With this victory, she has surpassed Georg Solti's previous record of 31 victories.

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Edited by Vinay Agrawal
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