The Weeknd blast The Grammys calling them “corrupt” and now the Recording Academy president is responding.
The Grammy Awards has released its list of nominees, and some of the heavy hitters are noticeably absent from the top line ups. Many are reacting with surprise that the Recording Academy committees who decide the nominees have omitted The Weeknd from this year’s list. His “Blinding Lights” single is arguably one of the successful songs of last year, according to music industry experts.
The song has received many prestigious awards, including two (2) MTV Video Music Awards for video of the year and Best R&B. It was also nominated in the same award ceremony in four other categories- song of summer, best cinematography, best direction, best editing. It also won the and best pop video – international award at the UK Music Video Awards and nominated in three separate categories.
The song’s accolades did not end there was it had two nominations for MTV Europe Music Awards, and it won MTV Video Music Awards Japan for best male video – international.
The song debut at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December of 2019 but soon reached #1 on the R&B Songs chart in March 2020, making it The Weeknd’s seventh #1 on the chart- making the artist with the most number ones on the chart’s history, also with a record-breaking 36 weeks reign. The song also rose to #2 on the Rolling Stone Top 100—Songs chart- where it was blocked by another The Weeknd song- Heartless in the #1 spot.
It has peaked at #1 in the UK and has peaked in countries like Australia (ARIA charts), Europe, Latin America, and Mexico.
It’s shocking that he isn’t nominated this year. In the past, he’s received ten nods over three different years and won three trophies.
Kanye West, who just last year urinating in one of his Grammys and posted the video online, received a nomination for 2021 (in the Christian category, no less).
So why was the Weeknd snubbed? According to Variety.com – there are two possible explanations. First, a recording must be officially submitted for consideration — we’re told that the artist’s label submitted all of his albums for consideration. His label, Republic, also manages Taylor Swift and Drake.
There is also another question of whether The Weeknd is considered a pop or R&B act. That, however, does not change the fact that he is qualified for the main categories of awards – Album, Song, and Record of the Year. However, it could be the reason that the nomination committees considered – whether he fit into their categories- R&B finding he doesn’t and Pop finding he doesn’t, resulting in him not making the cut.
After the Grammy was rocked by claims of racism, it seems to have lost some credibility among artists and fans alike.
But the new Recording Academy interim president/CEO Harvey Mason, jr. seems to be clearing up the reputation of the committee.
Speaking with Variety he said, “I don’t think [the Weeknd’s omission calls the nominations] process into question, honestly,” he said. “The process is there so we can continue to monitor excellence. I was in the ‘core room’ this year [which decides the main categories] and I observed, and the people in it are music professionals, at the top of their craft in songwriting and producing and there are a lot of artists. And they were critically listening to every song that came across their desks. It’s a long, arduous process and people take pride in it. The people in that room care: there are no agendas in there, there’s no ‘let’s snub this person’ or that person. It’s about, ‘Let’s try and find excellence.’”
It seems that The Weeknd fans think the Grammys version of excellence is not up to par to their listening pleasure, after all they are the ones who are buying out his albums and shows worldwide so that should be the guide. Many fans were irate that he was left out of the nominations with many claiming racism and robbery. One fan said “John Legend once said it is almost impossible for a black person to win album of the year at grammy’ now we see in our eyes how they robbed the Weeknd…”
Others sent love and respect to The Weeknd. On his Twitter account, he left a message for his fans “just wanted to thank fans for committing to this journey with me. I love you guys so much, none of this is possible without y’all seriously. XO.”