Beyoncé has decided to pass on participating in the 63rd annual Grammy Awards, and although the Recording Academy’s interim chief executive is disappointed, fans aren’t mad.
The “Brown Skin Girls” singer scored nine nominations in total, more than any other artist this year, but when asked to perform at the ceremony she politely declined, making her the third artist in recent years to opt out of performing while holding the top nomination numbers, including Kendrick Lamar in 2019 and Jay-Z in 2018.
Although the Grammys have brought in a new executive producer, Ben Winston, who hopes to cultivate a “deeply intimate” show, and landed Trevor Noah to host, it appears the efforts were too little too late.
The interim head of the Recording Academy has stated that her decision is “unfortunate.” “It’s unfortunate because she’s such a big part of the Recording Academy,” Recording Academy interim Chief Executive Harvey Mason told the LA Times in an interview. “We absolutely wish we had her onstage.”
Fans supported the “Black Is King” producer’s choice and called out the Academy for undervaluing Black artists, who they feel are often called to perform but rarely win the accolades they deserve.
“Why would she perform?? They invite her get her to perform get her hopes up in winning aoty and she loses to a lesser counterpart every year she’s nominated. They aren’t using my girl for views anymore !”
“Do you blame Queen Bey for staying home & safe? The Grammys likes to nominate talented Black artists so they perform & they are leaving empty-handed. They are taken for granted because they bring ratings & then the camera pans to get a reaction once they are snubbed. The Weeknd.”
“It’s simple. @RecordingAcad is not dnt respect black talent. Why would she perform?? Using her for rating…think not.”
Beyonce’s nominations for the March 14 ceremony include Best Film (“Black Is King”); Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best R&B Performance & Best R&B Song (“Black Parade”); Record of the Year, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song (Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” Remix); and Best Music Video (“Brown Skin Girl”).
The Academy has appeared to try to address the racial inequality controversy in the past by making moves toward diversifying their membership, both in regards to gender and race.
In addition to Bey, The Weeknd has also bowed out of this year’s ceremony after receiving no nominations and has been much more public about his feelings toward the Recording Academy with a tweet in November 2020 stating, “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency,” shortly after nominations were announced.
His feeling about the organization remains the same, with him telling The New York Times in March that, “Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.”
On the bright side, Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak’s group, Soul Sonic, has been confirmed to perform at the show, which airs Sunday, March 14, at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.