By Yohana Desta. Photos: Getty Images.
Lemonade is officially a Peabody Award-winning work of visual art. Beyoncé’s album, released last year as a short film on HBO, picked up the prestigious prize Thursday, winning praise by the Peabody jury as a “sublime” piece of work in the scripted television field.
Other winners include Donald Glover’s surreal dramedy Atlanta, HBO’s vital political comedy Veep, and Pamela Adlon’s FX series Better Things. Louis C.K., who serves as a producer on Adlon’s series, also picked up an award for his unorthodox web series Horace and Pete. Two British shows were also honored: the BBC One’s Happy Valley and Channel 4’s National Treasure.
Beyoncé’s win for Lemonade will come as particular a delight to those who fought for the album to be recognized for its visual elements as well as its musical ones. Last year, Lemonade ended up on a handful of “best films of 2016” lists, and was championed by some film critics who deemed it worthy of cinematic recognition. The piece was nominated for four Emmys last year, but left that awards show empty-handed.
Scooping up a Peabody, however, is an excellent industry stamp that proves Lemonade was more than an album—it was a sumptuous visual feast, one that beautifully explored black female identity, Yoruba deities, and Southern culture in Louisiana, while also providing an endlessly gif-able moment of Beyoncé swinging a baseball bat and twirling in a canary yellow gown.
The win also comes on the heels of Beyoncé once again losing out on the coveted album of the year award at the Grammys. That honor went instead to Adele . . . who was so shocked and disappointed that she used a large chunk of her speech to praise Beyoncé. “I felt it was her time to win,” Adele later said backstage. “What the fuck does she have to do to win album of the year?”
There is no prize that could be given to Beyoncé that is better than simply being Beyoncé. Still, it certainly doesn’t hurt to see the star earn recognition not just for delivering one of the year’s best albums—but also some of its best visuals.
This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.
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