Kelly Rowland Defends Jay-Z’s Grammy Speech: ‘He Made a Lot of Artists Feel Very Seen’

The former Destiny's Child member spoke on Jay-Z's speech on Sunday where he criticized the Recording Academy.

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Kelly Rowland says she “couldn’t be more proud” of Jay-Z after his speech at the 2024 Grammy Awards.

On Sunday, the rapper, 54, made headlines for criticizing the Recording Academy while accepting the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award. His wife Beyoncé, 42, is the most awarded and nominated artist in Grammy history with 32 wins and 88 overall nods. However, she has yet to win the prestigious Album of the Year honor.

"I don't want to embarrass this young lady but she has more Grammys than everyone and never won Album of the Year," said Jay-Z on stage. "So even by your own metrics that doesn't work. Think about that. Most Grammys, never won Album of the Year, that doesn't work."

Further into his speech, Hov added, "We want y’all to get it right. We love y’all, we love y’all… We want y’all to get it right. At least, get it close to right. And obviously, it’s subjective… because it’s music and it’s opinion-based."

When speaking to ET’s Kevin Frazier on the red carpet for the premiere of Bob Marley: One Love, Rowland had nothing but praise for Jay-Z and agrees that the Grammys “have to evolve.”

“Shawn Carter is one of the greatest men I know. His words ring so loud to me and I couldn’t be more proud of him. I’m just really happy for a lot of things that he said. I think he made a lot of artists feel very seen and very heard in those minutes that he took on stage,” said the former Destiny’s Child member. 

Kelly Rowland is standing by Jay Z and his GRAMMY speech. #OneLoveMovie

— Entertainment Tonight (@etnow) February 7, 2024
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“It’s really a big moment when you go to the Grammys as a kid, you’re voted for by your peers, and you’re not thinking of everything else that’s attached to it. That’s like the peak of career.”

As far as her former bandmate is concerned, Rowland says Beyoncé is “an icon” for good reason.

"I feel like she is an icon... and that's for a reason -- it's because she starts trends. She is innovative, her thoughts are big and bright and she just jumps for them and does it," Rowland said. "I think that her albums are a reflection of that, and it should be really celebrated in that way."

Rowland continued, "I'm not saying that because it's my sister, I'm saying it because it's the truth. I've seen the blood, sweat and tears that she puts into these projects, and her thoughts and her heart and her passion and her soul."

On Tuesday, Beyonce’s father Mathew Knowles told TMZ Live that his daughter had been snubbed for Album of the Year because of her label, Columbia Records, and not necessarily because of Grammy voters.

“People don’t know the process. Your record label can only appoint one person in a category. So that means her record label—I’m gonna call you out, Columbia Records—her record label has never really put her in that category for consideration,” said Knowles before pointing out that Adele, whose 25 album beat out Lemonade at the 2017 Grammy Awards, is also signed to Columbia Records.

“I mean, there’s a financial reason. Maybe Adele sold more records worldwide? I don’t know these answers. But these are some of the thought processes that they go through,” Knowles added. “Maybe you say, ‘You know, Beyoncé has her success. Here’s an opportunity to push Adele, so let’s push her.’”

Last year, Harry Styles, another Columbia signee, won Album of the Year for his Harry’s House album, besting Beyoncé’s Renaissance.

Rowland herself is a four-time Grammy winner. As a member of Destiny’s Child, she earned Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance with “Say My Name” followed by Best R&B Album with Survivor. She earned another trophy with Record of the Year for “Dilemma,” her duet with Nelly.

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