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

Harry Styles’ “people like me” Grammys speech earns backlash
Video harry styles grammy speech

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.

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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.”

Harry Styles’ ‘Album of the Year’ win at the #GRAMMYs has received plenty of backlash over the past 24 hours, particularly for his acceptance speech where he said, “This doesn’t happen to people like me very often.”pic.twitter.com/5N97bwCTv4

— Impact (@impact___media) February 6, 2023

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.

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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.

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

— Emily (@emilybernay) February 6, 2023

harry styles saying “this doesn’t happen to people like me very often” while being a rich cis white man AFTER kim petras’ speech about being the first trans person to win a grammy is so tone-deaf omg

— ‎‎ ✰ roman ✰ neverafter 🐺 (@romaneverafter) February 6, 2023

Harry Styles really said “this kind of thing doesn’t happen to people like me very often” in his Grammy award speech… who are “your people” exactly, Harry pic.twitter.com/VRy0JFr1ti

— 💭girlsgirlsgirlsgirls (@sapphicctwt) February 6, 2023

“this doesn’t happen a lot to people like me very often” claims harry styles at the end of his AOTY speech. 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! pic.twitter.com/6eYqlehP8F

— marc (@neoyevr) February 6, 2023

Im sorry but Harry styles did not deserve that grammy over the others plus wtf was his speech? People like me dont get awards or whatever 😭😭😭 he is literally a white man like… the Grammys are defo rigged

— buzzfeed unsolver (@s3okjinn1es) February 6, 2023

i know harry styles didn’t had bad intentions behind his speech in the grammy’s, but as a white cisgender man, you can’t say “this does happen to people like me very often”, you just can’t. i love you harry but that was NOT IT.

— cata #lovestay (@hyunholatte) February 7, 2023

“This doesn’t happen to people like me often,” possibly an even more severe case of foot in mouth than anything Harry Styles said on the DON’T WORRY DARLING press tour

— Isaac Feldberg (@isaacfeldberg) February 6, 2023

I love me some Harry Styles, 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? #Grammys

— Noelle Devoe (@Noelle_CD) February 6, 2023

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’.

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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.