Beyoncé, Adele, Jennifer Lopez – tonight, three of the biggest stars in entertainment all seemed to have the same idea when it came to the Grammy Awards: dodging the red carpet in favour for an unannounced arrival via the backdoor. Or side entrance. Or simply arriving late when the photographers have moved inside.
JLo at least perhaps had an understandable reason to give the fanfare a miss. She was one of the presenters for the evening, so getting there early and settling in to do the job is just being professional. Adele, in contrast, has never really courted the paparazzi.
But Beyoncé? There was a time where Beyoncé’s arrival, whether it was the Grammys or the Met Gala, was as much a part of the evening’s schedule as if she were giving a live performance. Which, if you see fashion as art and you should, it kind of is.
This move to avoid the red carpet and its traditional pause and pose culture may seem counterintuitive to many celeb watchers. Not just the fans, but also the journalists and photographers whose entire careers are built beside those ropes that separate the stars from the rest of us, attempting to catch a one-liner or at least a wave for their outlet of choice.
This is often where headlines can be made and where celebrities talk the details: who they are wearing that night, who do they think will win in other categories; who hates who (I wish, no one does that anymore and it’s a shame).
It isn’t just the Grammys that suffered from its biggest stars using the front door either.
At the recent Golden Globes, Rihanna – who was nominated for her song ‘Lift Me Up’ – opted to eschew the usual red carpet gauntlet instead just magically appearing at her table some point after proceedings had begun.
Perhaps the reason behind the exodus is surprisingly simpler than we think: when you reach the kind of fame and status that Rihanna or Adele has, you don’t need to make small talk to media outlets.
But it could also point to another possibility: the age of celebrity stunts is coming to an end. When your biggest draw cards at events include those whose skillset is TikTok or a Housewife from a major city, why would you expect Beyoncé to wait in line with them?
Not everyone feels this way, obviously. Lizzo, who was a vision in Dolce & Gabbana at the Grammy Awards, clearly has a lot of fun during her red carpet runs. As does Cardi B and countless others. But their arrivals are also meticulously timed to maximise photo ops and a smooth transition into the venue.
Imagine if this trend makes its way to the Met Gala, whose entire experience is built around the red carpet arrival.