The Weeknd was notably absent during yesterday’s 2021 Grammy nominations, despite both his smash hit ‘Blinding Lights’ and his album After Hours being eligible for nomination. In a tweet posted today (November 25), The Weeknd levelled an accusation of corruption against the Recording Academy, writing: “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…”
Recording Academy Chair and Interim President/CEO Harvey Mason jr. has since responded to The Weeknd’s post in a statement to Rolling Stone. “We understand that the Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominate,” he said. “I was surprised and can empathise 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. Unfortunately, every year, there are fewer nominations than the number of deserving artists. All Grammy nominees are recognised by the voting body for their excellence, and we congratulate them all.”
A source close to the situation told Variety that the Recording Academy and The Weeknd’s team might have been at odds over him playing both the Grammy ceremony on January 31 and the Super Bowl halftime show, which takes place a week later. After a series of prolonged and contentious negotiations, it was eventually agreed that he would perform at both events – until he was shut out from the nominations. However, it is more likely that the the Grammys’ nominating committees legitimately chose other releases over his in their categories, according to Variety.
Bob Dylan, whose excellent new album Rough and Rowdy Ways was eligible for nomination, was also notably missing. Throughout his career, Dylan has won 10 Grammy Awards and received 38 Grammy nominations.
The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) November 25, 2020