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The Weeknd Blasts Grammys Over Nominations Snub, Recording Academy’s Chair and Interim President Responds

The 63rd Grammy Awards nominations were announced this week, and The Weeknd is furious, to say the least. 

While many artists didn’t receive as many nominations as they thought they would, the Canadian superstar was left out of the discussion altogether, to everyone’s surprise. Throughout his career, the singer has been nominated nine times but taken home only three awards.

The Weeknd. Photo: @theweeknd/Instagram

The 30 year old took to his Twitter account to air out his grievances on Tuesday, Nov. 24, the same day the nominations were revealed, to write: “The Grammys remain corrupt.” He added, “You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…” The post received 1 million likes and over 302,000 retweets from fans backing the singer’s criticisms.  

One Twitter user replied to The Weeknd’s post, writing, “The Greatest robbery ever in music history,” and attached a graphic which featured reviews from media publications praising the singer’s “After Hours” album. The image also featured stats on how well the project performed on Billboard’s music charts. 

Despite evident proof of success, “After Hours” failed to get nominated for album of the year. The project’s lead single, “Blinding Lights,” which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, also failed to be nominated for song and record of the year.

Following The Weeknd’s scathing remarks, Recording Academy Chair and interim President/CEO Harvey Mason Jr. released a statement to Billboard, stating, “We understand that the Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated. I was surprised and can empathize with what he’s feeling. His music this year was excellent, and his contributions to the music community and broader world are worthy of everyone’s admiration.” 

He added, “We would have loved to have him also perform on the Grammy stage the weekend before [the Super Bowl]. Unfortunately, every year, there are fewer nominations than the number of deserving artists. … To be clear, voting in all categories ended well before The Weeknd’s performance at the Super Bowl was announced, so in no way could it have affected the nomination process.”

Preliminary voting by eligible Record Academy members for the Grammy nominations ended on Oct. 12, and the academy’s Nominations Review Committee met in the final week of October to determine the nominees in the top categories from the lists of the top vote-getters advanced to the committee.

Mason Jr. noted that “all Grammy nominees are recognized by the voting body for their excellence, and we congratulate them all.”

Still, sources close to the situation claimed that the singer’s snub allegedly had something to do with a heated negotiation process that took place between the star and the Recording Academy about possibly performing at the January event. 

“There were many conversations between the Grammys and the Weeknd team about his performance slated for the 2021 Grammys,” the source told TMZ. “There was an ultimatum given resulting in a struggle over him also playing the Super Bowl that went on for some time and was eventually agreed upon that he would perform at both events. … [The Recording Academy] had all these convos with the Weeknd team in the past month, and today on Nov. 24, the Weeknd had not one nomination and is now completely ignored by the Grammys.” They added, “This was the year that they were supposed to rise up. What is the process, and where is the transparency?” 

Mason denied claims of friction as a result of The Weeknd’s decision to perform at the Super Bowl. 

The Weeknd later expounded on his frustrations with the Recording Academy and seemingly suggested that he would not be attending the show in a tweet posted Wednesday afternoon, saying, “Collaboratively planning a performance for weeks to not being invited?” He added, “In my opinion zero nominations = you’re not invited!”

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