While most of us are reflecting on what we’re thankful for this week, it’s safe to say The Weeknd is not thankful for the Recording Academy.
The 2021 Grammy nominations were announced on Tuesday, November 24 and the “Blinding Lights” hitmaker was completely absent from the list despite having one of the biggest albums of the year, After Hours.
Needless to say, the 30-year-old was not happy with the snub and neither were his fans.
The Weeknd Believes the Grammys Owe Him an Explanation
Following the snub, The Weeknd took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the matter and did not mince words.
“The Grammys remain corrupt,” he shared. “You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…”
Recording Academy President Speaks Out
The Weeknd’s complete lack of nominations sent shock waves throughout the music industry, which forced The Recording Academy interim president and CEO, Harvey Mason Jr, to speak out.
“We understand that The Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated. I was surprised and can empathize with what he’s feeling,” he shared in a statement. “His music this year was excellent, and his contributions to the music community and broader world are worthy of everyone’s admiration.”
Super Bowl Halftime vs. The Grammys?
Mason Jr. also refuted claims that The Weeknd and the Academy were at odds over whether he would perform at the Grammys or the Super Bowl halftime show (of which he was announced as the performer earlier this month).
According to TMZ, The Weeknd choosing to perform at the Super Bowl may have left the Academy vengeful.
“We were thrilled when we found out he would be performing at the upcoming Super Bowl, and we would have loved to have him also perform on the Grammy stage the weekend before,” Mason Jr. continued.
“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.”
Doesn’t Believe the Voting Process is Flawed
Mason Jr. also told Variety after the nominations were announced that the voting body simply may have not liked his album and therefore did not vote for it.
“And I don’t think this calls it into question, honestly The process is there so we can continue to monitor excellence. I was in the ‘core room’ this year and I observed, and the people that were in it are music professionals — they are excellent, at the top of their craft in songwriting and producing, and there are a lot of artist,” he shared.
“They were critically listening to every song that came across their desks — or virtual desks — so I don’t think it shows a flaw in the process.”
Despite Mason Jr’s attempts to downplay the situation, it is hard to imagine a more egregious snub in Grammys history. After Hours, which was released in March, topped the Billboard 200 chart for four consecutive weeks. It also had two number one singles, “Heartless” and “Blinding Lights.”
The Grammys has come under fire in the past for their lack of diversity in their nominations or refusing to properly acknowledge hip hop or rap albums with the Album of the Year award.
While being nominated for a Grammy is still a major achievement for a musician, it’s becoming more and more clear that the Recording Academy is due for a major makeover if they want to continue being taken seriously.