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Billie Eilish Said She Was "Embarrassed" To Beat Megan Thee Stallion At The Grammys And It Reignited A Year-Old Debate

"This is really embarrassing for me," Billie said when accepting the Grammy for Record of the Year.

Posted on March 15, 2021, at 8:30 a.m. ET

Billie Eilish won big at the Grammys on Sunday night, accepting the Record of the Year award for the second year in a row for her song "Everything I Wanted."

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

But Billie's acceptance speech caused some conversation on the night, with the 19-year-old saying on stage that she was "embarrassed" to win an award she believed should have gone to Megan Thee Stallion.

CBS / youtube.com

When she was announced as Record of the Year winner, Billie could be seen shaking her head and covering her face with her hands.

"This is really embarrassing for me," she said when she made it onto the stage.

"Megan, girl... I was going to write a speech about how you deserve this," she went on. "But then I was like, 'There's no way they're gonna choose me.' I was like, 'It's hers.'"

"You deserve this," Billie addressed Megan. "You had a year that I think is untoppable. You are a queen. I want to cry thinking about how much I love you."

CBS / youtube.com

"You are so beautiful. You are so talented," she continued. "You deserve everything in the world. I think about you constantly. I root for you always. You deserve it, honestly."

"Genuinely, this goes to her," Billie said. "Can we just cheer for Megan Thee Stallion, please?"

While Megan missed out on Record of the Year, she did scoop the award for Best New Artist, as well as Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance for her "Savage" remix featuring Beyoncé.

Plenty of people praised Billie for her humility in acknowledging Megan, calling the interaction "touching" and "sweet."

Billie Eilish wins the Record of The Year award and gives major props to Megan Thee Stallion... respect ❤️ #GRAMMYs

Twitter: @itswiseguyy

But others pointed out that Billie's speech was just the latest instance in a yearslong Grammys trend of white musicians having to acknowledge the Recording Academy awarded them over a more deserving Black artist.

Macklemore to Kendrick, Adele to Beyoncé, Billie to Megan: the trend, it continues!

Twitter: @elamin88

In 2017, Adele shouted out Beyoncé in her Album of the Year acceptance speech, saying the award should have gone to Lemonade.

"I can't possibly accept this award," Adele said at the time. "I'm very humbled and very grateful and gracious but my artist of my life is Beyoncé, and that album to me, the Lemonade album, was just so monumental."

Three years earlier, Macklemore posted a screenshot of a text he had sent to Kendrick Lamar after beating him for the Best Rap Album trophy.

"You got robbed," he said. "I wanted you to win. You should have. It’s weird and it sucks that I robbed you."

Writer Stephen Thompson said the situation was "the most Grammys move EVER."

No disrespect to Billie Eilish, whose music I love, and who handled that graciously. But that is the most #Grammys move EVER, to pat themselves on the back for how often they've honored Beyonce and then, AGAIN, pass her over for the big prizes. Absolutely insane.

Twitter: @idislikestephen

And journalist Kathleen Newman-Bremang said while Billie was right to say Megan deserved the award, it was "embarrassing for everyone involved."

Macklemore, Adele and Billie Eilish have all done the “I won but a Black artist deserved this” speech and even when they right, it’s embarrassing for everyone involved! #GRAMMYs

Twitter: @KathleenNB

But others took a different tack in the debate, saying it was "sad" that this wasn't the first time Billie had said she didn't deserve her win.

Steve Granitz / WireImage

At last year's Grammys, Billie could be seen repeating "please don't be me" before she was awarded the prize for Album of the Year. In her speech, she said the award should have gone to Ariana Grande's Thank U, Next.

"Thank U, Next got me through some shit, and I think it deserves more than anything in the world," Billie said.

At the time, people suggested Billie didn't want to win because of the backlash she'd face from fans of the other artists in her categories.

she does this because she knows that all y’all are gonna do for the next 2 months is talk about how she’s so undeserving of anything that comes to her and believe it or not she sees it and it fucking hurts her feelings so she wants to avoid it as much as possible idiot https://t.co/SltZQMsxeM

And fans had a similar response this year, saying it's "sad" that Billie feels like she has to discredit her wins.

no but in all seriousness the fact that last year billie dedicated her grammy to ariana and this year to megan is actually quite sad that she feels the need to discredit herself and her work bc of the backlash she knows she’ll get

Twitter: @LIKEACRlME

look i love billie and i love megan but i really need billie to start acknowledging how deserving of everything she gets she is.

Twitter: @cottoncandyhoee

i wish billie would accept her award with confident just once. she did this last year too with ariana grande. i admire the humility but accept ur award girl! 😭😭

Twitter: @meganknowlesari

Even Chrissy Teigen got involved, tweeting: "Winning Record of the Year sucks because you can't enjoy it when everyone's telling you why you don't deserve it."

winning record of the year sucks because you can’t enjoy it when everyone’s telling you why you don’t deserve it. it’s just shit. people suck. and it’s not the record of the year winner.

Twitter: @chrissyteigen

"Be mad at the Academy," one person said in response. "Not Billie."

@chrissyteigen For those asking for her to elaborate: people are v mad that Billie won over Megan, who also very much deserved the win. Be mad at the Academy. not Billie.

Twitter: @EmilyHartmann31

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.