UPDATE: February 15, 2017
Carlos Santana posted a message on Facebook to clarify his comments about Adele and Beyonce.
“I would like to clarify a comment that was reported when I was doing an interview for some upcoming shows in Australia & New Zealand,” he says.
Adding, “My intent was to congratulate Adele on her amazing night at the Grammies. My comment about Beyonce was regretfully taken out of context. I have the utmost respect for her as an artist and a person. She deserves all the accolades that come her way. I wish Beyonce and her family all the best. Carlos”
While some commenters agree with his stance or don’t feel he needed to respond to the interview, others think he should have addressed what was said about Beyonce’s singing abilities.
“Adele and Beyoncé have very different singing styles but to say that Beyoncé is not a singer is very disrespectful to her and all of the contributions that she has made to music,” said a Catherine White Walker. “Even if you believe the Grammys got it right no need to disrespect a fellow artist.”
Another person noted, “You’re still missing the point. Initially you denigrated and dismissed Beyoncé’s extraordinary vocal abilities, and reduced her as something to look at. As though her exceptional performance ability is an ‘instead of’ rather than ‘as well as’.”
No word from Adele or Beyonce’s camps.
If you’re wondering what that faint sound is, it’s the Beyhive attacking rock legend Carlos Santana for bold comments he made about Beyoncé’s singing abilities.
When asked by The New Zealand Herald why Adele won Best Song, Record and Album of the Year for 25 over Beyoncé’s Lemonade at the Grammys on Sunday, the Mexican-American guitarist concluded it’s about vocal prowess.
“I think that Adele won because she can sing, sing,” Santana said. “With all respect to our sister Beyoncé, Beyoncé is very beautiful to look at and it’s more like modeling kind of music — music to model a dress — she’s not a singer, singer, with all respect to her.”
“Adele can sing, sing. She doesn’t bring all the dancers and props, she can just stand there and she just stood there and sang the song and that’s it, and this is why she wins,” Santana, who has won 10 Grammy awards, added.
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As Twitter noted during the show, there are many singers—Beyonce included—who can out-sing Adele. There is also an elevated experience concertgoers expect when attending shows. The fact that Adele deviates from the status quo is great, be doesn’t warrant accolades over someone who puts in the extra effort to deliver, time after time.
Here’s a thought. Carlos, it’s probably not about semantics and vocal ability. It’s about old-fashioned racism. And it’d be great if a fellow person of color confronted that and stop placating for White approval.