Following Kanye West‘s disrespectful faux pas towards Beck for winning Album of the Year at the 2015 Grammys, social media and real music fans weren’t the only ones disappointed in West’s lack of class and grace for his fellow artist. ’90s rock-alt heroine, and one of my personal faves, Shirley Manson (of the band Garbage) wrote an open letter on Facebook to West about his actions.
She let the kids have it and we love her more for it!
Dear Kanye West
It is YOU who is so busy disrespecting artistry.
You disrespect your own remarkable talents and more importantly you disrespect the talent, hard work and tenacity of all artists when you go so rudely and savagely after such an accomplished and humble artist like BECK.
You make yourself look small and petty and spoilt.
In attempting to reduce the importance of one great talent over another, you make a mockery of all musicians and music from every genre, including your own.
Grow up and stop throwing your toys around.
You are making yourself look like a complete twat.
Ps.I am pretty certain Beyonce doesn’t need you fighting any battles on her account. Seems like she’s got everything covered perfectly well on her own.
For her stance for real music, artistry, and respecting your fellow artiste, we’re going to give Garbage the Jam of the Day! This is “When I Grow Up” from the 1999 soundtrack to the Adam Sandler comedy Big Daddy.
And food for thought, here’s what John Legend and West bestie had to say about West’s disrespect after it happened (and likely unbeknownest to West on E! trying to defend his actions):
“It didn’t hurt anybody. Anybody who’s upset just needs to relax. It was funny.”
“Beck won his award fair and square,” Legend added of the performer, who was honored for his Morning Phase album. “Beck is super talented and I have several of his albums and I’ve listened to him for a long time. I think people were surprised that he won but that doesn’t mean he’s not deserving, that just means people thought other people were going to win too.”
Later Legend would compose a lengthy, in-depth explantation of where he stood on Kanye-gate at the Grammys. He defended Beck against his friend’s bum-rush and the growing accusations that he was siding with West simply because of their friendship.
I want to clarify my thoughts on Kanye's actions at the Grammys on Sunday. First of all, Kanye is my friend. He believed in me years ago when very few did, and I wouldn't be here without his support. That doesn't mean we'll agree on everything, but it does mean that I am grateful to him. And I also believe he is one of the most gifted people I've had the privilege of working with. In my comments to US Weekly, I said that when Kanye walked up on stage, mimicking his interruption of Taylor Swift's VMA acceptance speech, then turned around as if he was just playing, most of the room including me saw this as funny, as a way of taking the piss out of himself for his infamous behavior several years ago. When I said that was funny and people should lighten up about it, that's what I meant. I wasn't referring to Kanye's comments after the show which I have now seen and heard. I disagree with those comments. Beck is indeed a true artist's artist. He's a multi-instrumentalist, a creative and unique singer-songwriter whose music I have bought and enjoyed over the years. While his win may have been a surprise to many, it's not because he's not a great artist deserving of recognition. All of the other nominated artists, including Beyonce, are incredible in their own right, and arguments could be made for any of them deserving to win. This is not an objective process. It's completely subjective, in fact. We can all debate who we thought should have won. But even if you didn't vote for him, plenty of our colleagues in the music business did. These voters are all creators who love music and have dedicated their lives to it, and the plurality of them chose Beck as the Album of the Year. I respect their decision and congratulate Beck on this outstanding accomplishment.
Also in June 2015, during an interview with the U.K. magazine NME, Manson talked about why she wrote that open letter to West. She confirmed that she actually is a huge fan of his work and believes he is a musical genius, but that his bratty behavior at times are incredibly hard to stomach.