Beyoncé and Adele have a long history of ups and downs together at the Grammy Awards

Two woman in formal attire pose for a photo with their arms around each other
Adele, left, and Beyoncé attend the 55th Grammy Awards in L.A. on Feb. 10, 2013.
(Lester Cohen / WireImage)

The Grammy Awards are once again poised to honor music superstars Beyoncé and Adele, the much-loved pop queens who have competed in the same categories repeatedly for more than a decade.

The 65th Grammys, airing live Sunday from the Arena in Los Angeles, will bring together the singers who are nominees across the top categories.

Going into this year’s ceremony, Beyoncé is the frontrunner and leads the nominations with nine pegged to her dance-heavy “Renaissance” album and the Oscar-nominated “Be Alive” (from the “King Richard” soundtrack). Adele had seven stemming from her post-divorce “30” album.


Beyoncé and husband Jay-Z also made history in November as the Recording Academy’s most nominated artists of all time with a total of 88 nods apiece. (Jay Z is nominated five times this year as a producer for his work on “Renaissance” and three of its nominated tracks.)

Beyoncé, Adele, Taylor Swift and Harry Styles are among the glittery nominees for the top prizes, but upsets may abound.

Feb. 1, 2023

Although positioned to win big, Beyoncé and Adele still face some heavy competition from other major artists beloved by the academy, especially in the general-field categories, including work by Taylor Swift, Lizzo, Mary J. Blige, Harry Styles, Kendrick Lamar, Bad Bunny, ABBA and Coldplay.

Bey has already won a whopping 28 Grammys overall and Adele has earned 15. The Destiny’s Child alum clinched several during her tenure in the R&B quartet-turned-trio that launched her career, and notched several wins as solo artist for “B’Day,” “So Amazing,” “Crazy in Love” and “Dangerously in Love.”

Beyoncé poses backstage at the 2017 Grammy Awards.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Adele burst on the music scene not long after the death of her contemporary Amy Winehouse, who won best new artist in 2008, the year before Adele did. While the British balladeer behind “25” famously said that she owed “90% of my career” to Winehouse, she more recently garnered attention for her Grammy proclamations about Beyoncé.

The “Hello” singer notably name-checked Bey’s groundbreaking visual album “Lemonade” during her 2017 speech for album of the year — basically not accepting that she had somehow prevailed over her idol, whom she described as the “artist of my life.”


“I can’t possibly accept this award, and I’m very humbled and very grateful and gracious, but my life is Beyoncé, and the album to me, the ‘Lemonade’ album, Beyoncé, was so monumental, and so well thought out,” Adele said. “And so beautiful and soul-bearing and we all got to see another side of you that you don’t always let us see, and we appreciate that.

“And all us artists adore you. You are our light. And the way that you make me and my friends feel, the way you make my Black friends feel is empowering, and you make them stand up for themselves,” she added. “And I love you. I always have. And I always will. I appreciate it.”

A woman onstage in a green gown
Adele onstage after winning album of the year for “25” at the 59th Grammy Awards.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Beyoncé accepted the loss with grace, mouthing “thank you” to Adele. The speech drew comparisons to Kanye West’s infamous interruption of Swift’s VMAs speech, but others, including “I May Destroy You” star Michaela Coel, championed Adele’s admission of privilege and how it highlighted the academy’s history of sidelining Black artists.

Apparently the love between Bey and Adele is mutual, though. In a 2020 interview with Rolling Stone, Adele said Beyoncé once told her that when she listens to Adele’s music “I feel like I’m listening to God.”

The “Easy on Me” crooner revealed in a 2021 Vogue cover story that she still disagreed with the academy’s decision and remained steady in her resolve that “Beyoncé definitely should have won” album of the year in 2017. The entertainer added that she also had an emotional meeting in Beyoncé’s dressing room after the ceremony.


“I just said to her, like, the way that the Grammys works, and the people who control it at the very, very top — they don’t know what a visual album is. They don’t want to support the way that she’s moving things forward with her releases and the things that she’s talking about,” she told Vogue.

So all eyes will be on these two iconic artists on Sunday — and whether Beyoncé will finally win the prize for album of the year. Until then, here’s a look back at all the times the musicians have been nominated alongside each other at the Grammys.


A singer holding up two trophies
Adele holds her Grammy Awards during the 51st Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 8, 2009.
(Valerie Macon / AFP via Getty Images)

During her debut at the 51st Grammy Awards, Adele clinched the trophies for best new artist and female pop vocal performance. Her “Chasing Pavements” was nominated for record and song of the year, while Bey had a sole nomination for “Me, Myself and I” in the female R&B vocal performance category.


A woman in a sparkling dress holds a trophy behind a microphone
Beyoncé accepts her award at the 52nd Grammy Awards on Jan. 31, 2010.
(Cliff Lipson / CBS via Getty Images))

Beyoncé roared back the following year at the 52nd Grammy Awards, with six wins, including song of the year for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” and other recognition for her “I Am ... Sasha Fierce” album and its singles. Adele had one nomination that year with “Hometown Glory,” which got a nod for female pop vocal performance.



A woman in black sings onstage with a band and backup singers behind her
Adele performs during the 54th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in 2012.
(Matt Sayles / Associated Press)

The 54th Grammys proved to be another sweep for Adele, who earned six awards for sales juggernaut “21,” including album of the year and its hits “Someone Like You” and “Rolling in the Deep,” with the latter song earning the record and song of the year titles. Beyoncé was nominated for her work on the rap/sung collaboration “Party” and long-form music video “I Am... World Tour.”


Each artist won with the only nomination they received at the 55th Grammy Awards. Adele won the prize for pop solo performance with “Set Fire to the Rain (Live),” and Beyoncé’s “Love on Top” scored a win for traditional R&B performance.

In 2014, Adele’s 007 anthem “Skyfall” won best song written for visual media, and Beyoncé won best rap/sung collaboration with “Part II (On the Run).”

Her landmark self-titled album earned Beyoncé three more Grammys at the 57th ceremony, including two for “Drunk in Love.”


A woman in a jeweled veil speaks onstage
Beyoncé accepts the award for best urban contemporary album for “Lemonade” at the 59th Grammy Awards on Feb. 12, 2017.
(Matt Sayles / Invision / Associated Press)

At the 59th Grammy Awards, the year Adele professed her love for Beyoncé, Adele scooped up trophies for record and song of the year and pop solo performance (“Hello”), album of the year and pop vocal album (“25”). Beyoncé did not go home empty-handed, though. She won two of the nine awards “Lemonade” was nominated for, including urban contemporary album and music video (“Formation.”)


A woman with voluminous blond hair
Beyoncé at the 63rd Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on March 14, 2021.
(Chris Pizzello / Invision / Associated Press)

While Adele went on an unofficial hiatus, Bey still cranked out new projects and music, picking up wins at the 61st Grammys for “Everything Is Love” and her Coachella performance music film, “Homecoming.” “Brown Skin Girl” made her daughter Blue Ivy a first-time Grammy winner, and Beyoncé also won trophies for “Savage” and “Black Parade” at the 63rd ceremony.


Which brings us to this year, when the two are nominated in three of the same categories, including record and song of the year (“Easy on Me” and “Break My Soul”), album of the year (“30” and “Renaissance”) in the general field. The artists are otherwise separated by genre, with Adele in pop and Bey in her usual R&B category as well as the dance/electronic fields this year.

Whether she bests Adele in the general field, Beyoncé needs to win only four of the nine Grammys she’s nominated for this year to become the artist with the most Grammys ever.

Times staff writer Mikael Wood contributed to this report.