Harry Styles Seemed to Respond to Outrage Over His "People Like Me" Acceptance Speech

He addressed the controversy at the Brit Awards.

Harry Styles at Brit Awards
(Image credit: Getty)

Speaking at the Grammys last Sunday, moments after his album "Harry's House" had been named album of the year, Harry Styles ended his acceptance speech by saying, "This doesn't happen to people like me very often and this is so, so nice—thank you very much." The backlash was immediate, with Adele—a fellow nominee for the category—immediately seeming unimpressed, and many people pointing out that, in the words of one viewer on Twitter, "I can’t think of a type of people this happens for more." 

Though Styles had noted earlier in his speech, "It's obviously so important for us to remember that there is no such thing as ‘best’ in music,” the line he ended on—"This doesn't happen to people like me very often"—felt particularly tone-deaf given the context: Beyoncé, whose album Renaissance was expected to win in that category, had lost, after losing in previous years to white artists including Beck, Adele, and Taylor Swift. In fact, no Black woman has won Album of the Year at the Grammys since the late '90s.

“'this doesn’t happen to people like me very often” IT LITERALLY ONLY HAPPENS TO PEOPLE LIKE YOU????" tweeted @ungodlywests following Styles' speech.

A week later, at the BRIT Awards, Styles won in four categories, including best album, best artist, and best song of the year. Speaking in his acceptance speech for the best artist BRIT Award, Styles seemed to address the controversy his acceptance speech the previous week had sparked, saying: "I'm really, really grateful for this, and I'm very aware of my privilege up here tonight, so this award is for Rina, Charli, Florence, Mabel, and Becky." Styles was referring to the female artists who were controversially ignored in the category, with only men ultimately being nominated for Artist of the Year.

Harry Styles

(Image credit: Getty Images)

He also thanked his former One Direction bandmates: "I want to thank Niall, Louis, Liam, and Zayn because I wouldn't be here without you either."