Weeknd’s absence from all Grammy Award nominations in a year when he dominated the music scene and charts surprised almost all observers, and the artist himself has charged corruption against the Recording Academy.
“The Grammys remain corrupt,” he wrote on social media. “You owe me, my fans and the transparency of the industry…” It refers to the candidate selection process, which is secret and the identity of the members of the committees that select the candidates is not publicly disclosed.
Weeknd’s absence from the Grammy nominations is the biggest snub in recent memory, and it’s hard to explain beyond the fact that the 20 or so nominating committees didn’t feel his album “After Hours” or his many singles which were one of the top eight albums, songs or records of the year, or the top five genre categories.
In a related development, a source close to the situation recounts Variety saying that the Grammys and the team behind The Weeknd, disagreed that he played both the Grammy on January 31 and the Super Bowl halftime show, which takes place a week later. As negotiations protracted and controversial, it was ultimately agreed that he would play out both events – only to make the situation moot once the nominations were announced and he was shockingly ruled out.
While members of The Weeknd’s team suspected that the laundering of candidatures was a form of retaliation over the tense negotiations – which would be a vengeful move, given that the two sides had come to an agreement – a more likely scenario is that the nominating committees legitimately, by Grammy standards, decided he did not deserve to be nominated in their categories.
Representatives for The Weeknd and The Recording Academy did not immediately respond Varietyrequests for comments from.
Grammy nominations are a two-step process in which committees, which include seasoned music professionals, make their decisions based on a shortlist forwarded by a selection committee that considers thousands of nominations. Variety spoke with Acting Recording Academy President / CEO Harvey Mason, jr. on Monday, and although he has no control over appointments, he spoke generally of the process.
“I do not think so [the Weeknd’s omission calls the nominations] process in question, frankly, ”he said. “The process is there so that we can continue to monitor excellence. I was in the “main room” this year [which decides the main categories] and I watched, and the people who work there are music professionals, at the top of their game in songwriting and producing songs and there are a lot of artists. And they critically listened to every song that landed on their desks – or virtual desks – so I don’t think that shows a flaw in the process. It is a long and arduous process and people are proud of it. People in this room care: there’s no agendas in there, there’s no “snub that person” or that person. It is about “Let’s try to find excellence”. ”
When it comes to the shutout of The Weeknd in gender categories, a likely possibility is one that Variety nodded in an article earlier this year: Whether The Weeknd is considered a pop or R&B act. While this factor would have played little role in his absence from the three main categories for which he was eligible (Album, Song and Disc of the Year), it is entirely possible that the selection committees, which determine the appropriate releases. for their respective categories, may have decided that it did not match their categories: In other words, the Pop committee may have considered it R&B and the R&B committee considered it Pop.
While the Grammys have been accused in the past of refusing to allow an artist to perform because they refused to play the song requested by the show’s producers – especially with Lorde in 2018 – this is the most blatant, if not the first, such speculation. was made as part of the nominations.