The 2015 Grammys are three days in our rearview, yet headlines are still dominated with debate on Beck, Beyonce, and, of course, the controversial statements of Kanye West.
As reported here, after the ‘Heartless’ hitmaker suggested that Beck, winner of 2015 Grammy ‘Album of the Year,’ “respect artistry” and relinquish his award to Bey, he’s been on the receiving end of unceremonious slam from fans and fellow artists (see: Shirley Manson, Michael McDonald, KISS, Nikki Six, and more).
Coming to the rescue of his former mentor and longtime collaborator, Grammy winner John Legend took to US Weekly to defend West from the onslaught of criticism. But, after his quote found him on the receiving end as well, the ‘Green Light’ singer took to Instagram to clear up the confusion.
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Earlier this week, Legend took to US Weekly to say:
“I thought it was funny.” “I looked at it as just a funny thing that people were going to talk about.”
“It didn’t hurt anybody,” the “All of Me” singer, 36, continued. “Anybody who’s upset just needs to relax. It was funny. Beck is super talented and I have several of his albums and I’ve listened to him for a long time. I think people were surprised that he won but that doesn’t mean he’s not deserving…”
After earning a mini-backlash for downplaying the incident, Legend took to Instagram to clarify his statements:
“I want to clarify my thoughts on Kanye’s actions at the Grammys on Sunday. First of all, Kanye is my friend. He believed in me years ago when very few did, and I wouldn’t be here without his support. That doesn’t mean we’ll agree on everything, but it does mean that I am grateful to him. And I also believe he is one of the most gifted people I’ve had the privilege of working with.
In my comments to US Weekly, I said that when Kanye walked up on stage, mimicking his interruption of Taylor Swift’s VMA acceptance speech, then turned around as if he was just playing, most of the room including me saw this as funny, as a way of taking the piss out of himself for his infamous behavior several years ago.
When I said that was funny and people should lighten up about it, that’s what I meant. I wasn’t referring to Kanye’s comments after the show which I have now seen and heard. I disagree with those comments. Beck is indeed a true artist’s artist. He’s a multi-instrumentalist, a creative and unique singer-songwriter whose music I have bought and enjoyed over the years. While his win may have been a surprise to many, it’s not because he’s not a great artist deserving of recognition. All of the other nominated artists, including Beyonce, are incredible in their own right, and arguments could be made for any of them deserving to win. This is not an objective process. It’s completely subjective, in fact. We can all debate who we thought should have won. But even if you didn’t vote for him, plenty of our colleagues in the music business did. These voters are all creators who love music and have dedicated their lives to it, and the plurality of them chose Beck as the Album of the Year. I respect their decision and congratulate Beck on this outstanding accomplishment.”