The Bronx MC made history as the first female solo artist to ever win in that category, but after her flustered acceptance speech, she revealed she’s sharing the award with the late Mac Miller. In a backstage video from Sunday night (February 10), Cardi ecstatically thanked her family and fans before shouting out Miller, whose fifth and final album, Swimming, was nominated against her breakout LP, Invasion of Privacy.
“You wanna know something? I read an article that Mac Miller’s family said that if he don’t win, they wanted me to win, so I’m sharing this Grammy with you, motherfucker,” Cardi said. “Rest in peace! And thank you, everybody.”
Cardi is referring to Us Weekly‘s report that Miller’s family was rooting for Cardi B to win if he didn’t. A source close to the family told the outlet in January that they were “so moved when his nomination was announced. They are really hopeful that the Recording Academy will honor what they believe to be the most important and impactful rap album of the year. It will be a bittersweet moment for them if Malcolm wins. And if he doesn’t, they’re rooting for Cardi B.”
On Twitter, Cardi reiterated the love for Miller by sharing a screenshot of the article and writing to him, “WE WON A FUCKIN GRAMMY.”
Though he didn’t win, Miller was honored during the show’s In Memoriam segment. Even so, his ex Ariana Grande expressed her disappointment that the Recording Academy did not award the rapper, especially after his parents were invited to the show. In a series of since-deleted tweets, she wrote “trash” and “literal bullshit,” adding that she was “very upset” Miller lost while his parents were in attendance.
The thank u, next singer later clarified that she had nothing against Cardi B winning the award. In more now-deleted tweets, she said that her vulgar reaction was not directed to Cardi but to the Academy, who she already butted heads with over her own performance. “Nothing to do w her. Good for her. I promise. I’m sorry,” she wrote.
But don’t worry: Ari ended her night — which saw her win a Grammy of her own — on a “super grateful” note: