The Weeknd Accuses Grammys of ‘Corruption’ Over Nomination Shutout
The Weeknd’s absence from all Grammy nominations in a year that he dominated the music scene and the charts has astonished nearly all observers, and the artist himself has leveled an accusation of corruption against the Recording Academy.
“The Grammys remain corrupt,” he wrote. “You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…”
He is referencing the process by which nominations are chosen, which is secret and the identities of the people on the committees that select the nominees are not publicly revealed.
The Weeknd’s absence from the Grammy nominations is the biggest snub in recent memory, and one that is difficult to explain beyond the fact that the 20-odd person nominating committees truly did not feel his “After Hours” album or its many singles were not one of the eight Best Albums, Songs or Records of the Year, or the five best in genre categories.
It is possible but unlikely that there was an error or omission in the submission process, but since The Weeknd’s label, Republic, handles six-time 2021 nominee Taylor Swift as well as other nominees, it seems unlikely that they neglected to nominate him.
Another, more likely possibility is one that Variety nodded to in an article earlier this year: whether The Weeknd is considered a pop or R&B act. While that factor would have played little role in him being left off of the three main categories for which he is eligible (Album, Song and Record of the Year), it’s entirely possible that the screening committees, which determine which releases are appropriate for their respective categories, may have decided that he didn’t fit their categories: In other words, the Pop committee may have considered him R&B and the R&B committee considered him Pop.
While the Grammys have been accused in the past of refusing to allow an artist to perform because they declined to play the song the show’s producers requested — most prominently with Lorde in 2018 — this is the most prominent, if not the first, time such an accusation has been made in connection with the nominations.