Adele's 'black friends' Grammy comment stirs debate

Story highlights

  • Adele mentions her "black friends" during her acceptance speech
  • Some said they appreciated her words

(CNN)Adele really, really wanted to share her admiration for Beyoncé at the Grammy Awards and social media felt her on that.

After sweeping the night's top awards for song and record of the year for "Hello" and album of the year for "25," Adele let it be known she thought Beyoncé deserved the latter.
"My artist of my life is Beyoncé," she said. "And this album for me, the 'Lemonade' album is just so monumental."
    "It was so monumental and so well thought out and so beautiful and soul-bearing, and we all got to see another side of you that you don't always let us see and we appreciate that," Adele said from the stage to Beyoncé, who sat in the audience. "You are our light."
    "The way that you make me and my friends feel -- and the way that you make my black friends feel -- is empowering," Adele continued. "You make them stand up for themselves and I love you, and I always have and I always will."
    The quote about her "black friends" -- coming from a white artist -- had the potential to be inflammatory.
    Some on Twitter were less than comfortable with it.
    But more than a few shared the opinion that Adele's heart was in the right place. Some even praised her for acknowledging that Beyoncé's visual album stood as a work of empowerment for women of color.
    Adele's comments left Beyoncé in tears. She appeared to say "I love you" to Adele.
    Beyoncé's "Lemonade" album has stirred controversy since it was released last year.
    The video for her "Formation" single featured imagery closely aligned with the #BlackLivesMatters movement. Police organizations around the country criticized her Super Bowl 50 halftime performance, which featured her dancers in costumes that invoked the Black Panthers.
    Beyoncé has been open about her deliberate use of imagery to spark discussion about culture, race and empowerment.
    She reiterated that belief during her acceptance speech for best urban contemporary album for "Lemonade" saying that her "intention for the film and album was to create a body of work that would give a voice to our pain, our struggles, our darkness and our history. To confront issues that make us uncomfortable."
    "It's important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty, so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror, first through their own families -- as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House and the Grammys -- and see themselves, and have no doubt that they're beautiful, intelligent and capable," she said. "This is something I want for every child of every race. And I feel it's vital that we learn from the past and recognize our tendencies to repeat our mistakes."