Beyonce v Adele: Pop's reigning queens face off at Grammys

Adele has chosen to stick to her chart-topping sound on 25, which features more ballads of heartache. Beyonce, who has nine Grammy nominations, has taken a more provocative approach with her latest album Lemonade.
Beyonce, who has nine Grammy nominations, has taken a more provocative approach with her latest album Lemonade. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Adele has chosen to stick to her chart-topping sound on 25, which features more ballads of heartache.
Adele has chosen to stick to her chart-topping sound on 25, which features more ballads of heartache. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

LOS ANGELES • Which diva will the music industry select for its top honours - Adele, who conquered the charts with time-tested ballads of heartache, or Beyonce, who has crafted an edgier sound?

The two singers face off in three top categories tonight at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, where much attention will be on whether stars seize the televised moment to weigh in on tense political times in the United States.

Beyonce, who leads the Grammys with nine nominations, is due to make her first public appearance since setting the Internet ablaze with news that she is expecting twins with her husband Jay Z.

The 35-year-old, who became one of the world's top stars with her R&B-rooted pop, took a more provocative approach with her latest album Lemonade, which she intertwined with a film.

She faces a challenge from Adele, who chose to stick to her chart-topping sound on 25, which features more ballads of heartache and nostalgia such as the hit Hello.

Beyonce and Adele face competition for Album of the Year from Toronto rapper Drake, who has broken streaming records with his readily danceable tunes.

Dark horses in the category are Justin Bieber's Purpose, in which the tabloid fixture revived his sound with help from electronic producers, and A Sailor's Guide To Earth by Sturgill Simpson, who has given some intellectual heft to country music through lyricism inspired by Buddhist philosophy.

For many artists at the Grammys, one factor brings them together besides a love of music - intense dislike of US President Donald Trump. Beyonce, Adele and Drake have all criticised the immigrant-bashing tycoon in their own ways. Other Grammy performers include two leading celebrity campaigners for Mrs Hillary Clinton's unsuccessful run - Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.

The Grammys will also feature tributes to two late pop icons, Prince and George Michael.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 12, 2017, with the headline 'Beyonce v Adele: Pop's reigning queens face off at Grammys'. Print Edition | Subscribe