Toward the end of a dramatic day that saw The Weeknd, whose music has dominated 2020, shut out of all Grammy nominations, leading him to accuse the Recording Academy of corruption and a lack of transparency, Recording Academy chief Harvey Mason, jr. has responded to his claims.
In his response, he says that he too was surprised that The Weeknd did not receive any nominations, and confirms reports that the artist was originally expected to perform at the Grammys as well as the Super Bowl the following week. But he denies that the negotiations around that situation, which sources say became contentious, had any role in The Weeknd’s absence from the nominations.
“Congratulations to today’s Grammy nominees, who have earned their peers’ recognition for their incredible work,” he wrote. “There were a record number of submissions in this unusual and competitive year.
“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. 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.
“Unfortunately, every year, there are fewer nominations than the number of deserving artists. But as the only peer-voted music award, we will continue to recognize and celebrate excellence in music while shining a light on the many amazing artists that make up our global community. 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.
“All Grammy nominees are recognized by the voting body for their excellence,” he concludes, “and we congratulate them all.”