Harry Styles’ “people like me” Grammys speech earns backlash

"By that, did he mean conventionally attractive, white British men... from Cheshire?"

Harry Styles’ Grammys acceptance speech has received backlash after saying that the achievement “doesn’t happen to people like me very often”.

The pop star won Album Of The Year at the 2023 Grammys this weekend (February 5) for his third solo album ‘Harry’s House’, with the record also collecting awards for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.

Upon accepting the Grammy Album Of The Year Styles began his speech by saying that he has been “so, so inspired by every artist in this category with me at a lot of different times in my life,” adding: “I listen to everyone in this category when I’m alone.”


He continued: “I think on nights like tonight, it’s obviously so important for us to remember there’s no such thing as best in music. I don’t think any of us sit in the studio making decisions based on what is gonna get us one of these. This is really, really kind. I’m so, so grateful.

“This doesn’t happen to people like me very often and this is so, so nice. Thank you very much.”

However, Styles’ speech has drawn criticism for appearing to overlook his privilege as a rich, white male.

Harry Styles
Harry Styles CREDIT: Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

“harry styles saying “this doesn’t happen to people like me very often” as a white, british man who has a history of dating only the most categorically stunning women in hollywood and whose biggest act of rebellion is wearing sequins and nail polish is extremely rich,” one Twitter user wrote.


Another added: “styles has now made history solidifying himself as the first rich white cishet man who paints his nails to win a grammy in music history, congratulations!”

“I love me some Harry Styles,” another wrote, “but ‘This doesn’t happen to people like me very often’ was such a WILD thing to say. By that, did he mean conventionally attractive, white British men… from Cheshire?”

Others suggested Styles showed a “lack of self-awareness” and was “tone deaf”. You can see various reaction towards the pop singer’s speech below.

Styles was nominated in six categories total, including: Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Music Video for ‘As It Was’.

At the ceremony, Styles took to the stage in a shimmering, silver-fringed outfit to perform his hit single ‘As It Was’, singing part of the track from a revolving stage that mimicked the one featured in his music video.

Beyoncé, meanwhile, took home the most awards this year, making history by becoming the artist with the most Grammy wins of all time.

Actor Viola Davis also achieved EGOT status with her first Grammy win, while Kim Petras became the first transgender woman to win Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

You can find the full list of winners here and also check out the best moments from the 2023 awards here.

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