The 2024 Grammys Acceptance Speeches Were a Masterclass in Throwing Shade

Miley Cyrus omitted her dad, Taylor Swift announced a pointedly named album, and Jay Z had words for the Academy.

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The 2024 Grammys Acceptance Speeches Were a Masterclass in Throwing Shade
From left: Jay Z accepts his Grammy; Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift pose on the red carpet. Photo:Shutterstock

The Grammys are never not a controversial affair, especially in the era of stan Twitter and life-or-death internet fights over Album of the Year. But this year’s Grammys enjoyed some added spice thanks to a series of delightfully shady acceptance speeches, all of which had my eyebrows all the way up.

I’ll start with Miley Cyrus’ acceptance speech for Record of the Year for Flowers, her second win of the evening. She thanked “my mommy, my sister, my love, my main gays” (lol), before cheekily concluding, “I don’t think I forgot anyone. But I might have forgotten underwear. Bye!” Innocent enough on the surface, right? But if you’re as internet-pilled as I am and have been following the ongoing Cold War between Cyrus and her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, for the last several months, his omission sticks out like a sore thumb. I won’t get too into the weeds of it all (especially since Jezebel gave you this explainer in August) but in sum: Cyrus’ parents seem to have had a messy divorce and the kids allegedly picked sides. Sunday night seemed to affirm reports about whose side Miley is on.

Then, there was Jay Z’s speech accepting the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award. With daughter Blue Ivy onstage alongside him, Jay Z said a lot of things, but probably the only thing the internet will be talking about for the next 24 hours is the well-deserved shade he seemed to hurl at the Recording Academy. “I don’t want to embarrass this young lady but she has more Grammys than everyone and never won Album of the Year,” he said, referring, of course, to Beyoncé. He continued, “So even by your own metrics, that doesn’t work. Think about that. The most Grammys, never won Album of the Year. That doesn’t work.” Fair point, well made! I’ve never been much of a believer in the Academy and its legitimacy but anyone who can’t concede that Beyoncé has been snubbed for AOTY is frankly deluding themselves. If Jay Z’s speech created any tension, he diffused some of it with humor: “When I get nervous, I tell the truth,” he said, to a ripple of nervous audience laughter.

And then, of course, my favorite maybe-shade of the evening: While accepting her first of two Grammys for Midnights on Sunday, Taylor Swift announced her next album, The Tortured Poets Department. On top of being a very funny name, fans also immediately sussed it out as a possible reference to her ex, Joe Alwyn, who revealed in 2022 that he was in a group chat with Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott called “The Tortured Man Club.”

These are, of course, slightly different names, and fans love to speculate and dig around for Easter eggs whether or not they exist. The brilliance (evil? whimsy??) of T-Swift is her ability to make pointed references while still maintaining plausible deniability. In any case, as someone who lives for drama, I pray that Tortured Poets Department is rife with Joe Alwyn diss tracks—and that next year’s Grammys acceptance speeches are this memorable and deliciously catty!

  • There were a lot of pissed-off Celine Dion fans tweeting up a storm on Sunday. [Page Six]
  • Taylor Swift seemed to squash rumors of a feud between her and Olivia Rodrigo by dancing to Rodrigo’s performance of “Vampire.” Love that for them! [Variety]
  • The Grammys was many things but above all else, it seems to have been a Beyoncé fan meet-and-greet. [Twitter]
  • So very sorry to Kacey Musgraves, who also announced her upcoming new album Sunday night. [Pop Crave]
  • For a few seconds on Sunday afternoon, Nicki Minaj was mistakenly awarded her first Grammy. Awkward! [Entertainment Tonight]
  • OK, here’s Taylor fixing Lana Del Rey’s hair on the red carpet. Dare I ask: Why didn’t anyone fix hers?? [Pop Crave]
  • Sorry to those who love mess and drama: Ayo Edebiri seemed to acknowledge and apologize for her recently resurfaced 2020 jokes about Jennifer Lopez on their joint SNL episode this week, and all seems to be peaceful in the realm. [Billboard]

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