Beyoncé‘s Renaissance is certainly on that new vibration, marking history not just for Bey, but for dance and electronic music at the Grammys at large.
Renaissance‘s win for best/electronic album marked the first time the category was included in the Grammys telecast since being added to the awards 23 years ago. Picking up the trophy also made Beyoncé the winningest artist in Grammys history.
Renaissance — which features house music and includes collaborations from genre greats such as Honey Dijon and Green Velvet — beat out LPs by Diplo, ODESZA, Bonobo and RÜFÜS DÜ SOL.
All of these dance-world stalwarts have been previously been nominated for Grammys, with Diplo and RÜFÜS DÜ SOL both winning in prior years. (Only Diplo has previously appeared on the Grammys telecast, however, having shown up during BTS’ 2020 performance and during a performance of “Where Are U Now” with Jack U in 2016.)
While the dance music community was sharply divided about Renaissance‘s inclusion in the dance/electronic category — with many feeling that the album did not feature enough dance/electronic music to qualify it for the category — in the dance world, it’s also widely agreed that getting the genre in the global spotlight via telecast is definitely positive forward motion for electronic music at large.
Many also felt that Beyoncé’s inclusion in the dance/electronic categories did much for the mainstream visibility of house music and the genre’s LGBTQ+ roots. Beyoncé herself nodded to these roots in her speech, saying, “I’d like to thank the queer community for the love, and for inventing the genre.”
Previous winners of this award include The Chemical Brothers, Skrillex, Daft Punk, Aphex Twin, Flume and Kaytranada. The category is not, however, without pop precedence, as Madonna and Lady Gaga both won for best dance/electronic album in the category’s earlier years, before the EDM boom of the early 2010s changed mainstream consciousness about dance music in the United States and subsequently at the Grammys.
As many predicted, Beyoncé swept the Grammys’ two dance categories this year, with Renaissance‘s ’90s house homage single “Break My Soul” winning for best dance/electronic recording during the pre-ceremony. This category has never yet been presented during the telecast.