The Weeknd’s absence from all Grammy nominations in a 12 months that he dominated the music scene and the charts has astonished almost all observers, and the artist himself has leveled an accusation of corruption towards the Recording Academy.
“The Grammys stay corrupt,” he wrote on social media. “You owe me, my followers and the business transparency…”
The Grammys stay corrupt. You owe me, my followers and the business transparency…
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) November 25, 2020
He’s referencing the method by which nominations are chosen, which is secret and the identities of the individuals on the committees that choose the nominees aren’t publicly revealed.
The Weeknd’s absence from the Grammy nominations is the most important snub in current reminiscence, and one that’s tough to clarify past the truth that, opposite to the opinions of tens of millions of followers and a whole bunch of critics, the 20-odd-member nominating committees didn’t really feel his “After Hours” album or its many singles have been one of the eight Finest Albums, Songs or Data of the 12 months, or the 5 greatest in style classes.
In a associated growth, a supply near the scenario tells Selection that the Grammys and The Weeknd’s crew have been at odds over him taking part in each the January 31 Grammy ceremony and the Tremendous Bowl halftime present, which happens every week later. Whereas the negotiations grew extended and contentious, ultimately it was agreed that he would play each occasions — just for the scenario to change into moot as soon as the nominations have been introduced and he was shockingly shut out.
Whereas some suspected initially that the nomination shutout was some type of retribution over the tense negotiations — which might be a vengeful transfer, contemplating that either side had come to phrases — a extra possible situation is that the nominating committees legitimately, by the Grammys’ requirements, selected different releases over his of their classes.
Reps for The Weeknd and the Recording Academy didn’t instantly reply to Selection‘s requests for remark.
The Grammy nominations are multi-step course of through which committees, which embody veteran music professionals, make their choices primarily based on a shortlist handed down from a screening committee that considers 1000’s of submissions. Selection spoke with Recording Academy interim president/CEO Harvey Mason, jr. concerning the matter on Monday, and whereas he exerts no management over the nominations, he did communicate typically on the method.
“I don’t suppose [the Weeknd’s omission calls the nominations] course of into query, truthfully,” he stated. “The course of is there so we will proceed to observe excellence. I used to be within the ‘core room’ this 12 months [which decides the main categories] and I noticed, and the individuals in it are music professionals, on the prime of their craft in songwriting and producing and there are so much of artists. And so they have been critically listening to each music that got here throughout their desks — or digital desks — so I don’t suppose it reveals a flaw within the course of. It’s an extended, arduous course of and folks take pleasure in it. The individuals in that room care: there aren’t any agendas in there, there’s no ‘let’s snub this individual’ or that individual. It’s about, ‘Let’s attempt to discover excellence.’”
Relating to The Weeknd’s shutout within the style classes, a possible risk is one which Selection nodded to in an article earlier this 12 months: whether or not The Weeknd is taken into account a pop or R&B act. Whereas that issue would have performed little function in him being left off of the three important classes for which he was eligible (Album, Tune and Report of the 12 months), it’s fully potential that the screening committees, which decide which releases are acceptable for his or her respective classes, might have determined that he didn’t match their classes: In different phrases, the Pop committee might have thought-about him R&B and the R&B committee thought-about him Pop.
Whereas the Grammys have been accused prior to now of refusing to permit an artist to carry out as a result of they declined to play the music the present’s producers requested — most prominently with Lorde in 2018 — that is probably the most egregious, if not the primary, time such hypothesis has been made in reference to the nominations.