Beyoncé has broken the record for the most Grammy wins of all time, with 32, after earning four awards from the Recording Academy in the 2023 proceedings.
The award that put her over the top was a win for best dance/electronic album for “Renaissance.” Beyoncé was on hand at the arena to accept this one, unlike earlier in the CBS telecast, when she was not yet on the premises for the win that had her achieving a tie, when “Cuff It” got best R&B song and earned her win number 31.
“I’m trying not to be too emotional and I’m trying to just receive this night,” she said, after breaking the record a little more than two hours into the main telecast. “I want to thank God for protecting me. … I’d like to thank my uncle Johnny, who’s not here, but he’s here in spirit.” She thanked her parents, husband and three children before concluding, “I’d like to thank the queer community for your love and for inventing this genre.”
Two of her awards were given out during the non-televised Premiere ceremony in the afternoon, and she subsequently has picked two more during the prime-time telecast, with three categories left to go that she is nominated in.
When she won at the half-hour point in the prime time telecast for “Cuff It,” in absentia, jokes abounded. “Beyoncé is on her way,” said host Trevor Noah, making a crack about L.A. traffic as the R&B song award was presented without the honoree yet in attendance, a half-hour into the telecast. The-Dream, a co-writer and co-producer, came to the podium and made a quip about “CP time,” cut out as it went out over the air. Nile Rodgers, who played on the track, also briefly spoke, unbleeped, at the podium.
The two awards announced for Beyoncé in the pre-telecast proceedings were for best dance/electronic recording for “Break My Soul” and best traditional R&B performance for “Plastic Off the Sofa” (the last two both tracks from her “Renaissance” album).
Beyoncé’s record-breaking status will not completely mollify fans who think she should have won album of the year or record of the year by now; on Sunday night, those awards went to Harry Styles and Lizzo, respectively. Song of the year, which she has won just once in the past, when she was still a member of Destiny’s Child, went to Bonnie Raitt.
Before the 2023 Grammys, the record for most Grammy wins was held by the 31 claimed by classical music figure Georg Solti — a benchmark set all the way back in 1997 when he earned his final prize, for best opera recording. Solti died that same year.
Beyonce led the 2023 nominations with nine, putting her in a tie for all-time Grammy nominations with her husband, Jay-Z — 88 each. Beyoncé’s tally includes her pre-solo work as a member of Destiny’s Child. Coming into Sunday’s awards, she had won 28 Grammys, already making her the most awarded female artist in the awards’ history.
Jay has won 24 Grammys. He previously held the most-nominated title, with 83 nominations prior to 2023.
This year marked Beyoncé’s first nominations in the dance/electronic categories, along with her R&B and general-field nods. Her “Renaissance” release was submitted in the best dance/electronic album rather than contending for best R&B album.
Credited as a songwriter on “Renaissance,” Jay-Z is nominated alongside Beyoncé for album of the year and song of the year. His work on DJ Khaled’s “God Did” is also up for song of the year, rap song and rap performance.
If Jay-Z wins even one Grammy during the nighttime telecast, he will break a record himself, for the most all-time wins for a rapper. He came into the 2023 ceremony tied for that record with Kanye West, with 24 wins prior to this year.