The Weeknd is officially done with the GRAMMY Awards.
The singer, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, shared that he would be boycotting the annual awards ceremony from now on. The decision comes months after his album, After Hours, and critically acclaimed chart-topping song, “Blinding Lights,” were snubbed from nominations at this year’s GRAMMYs.
“Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label [Republic Records] to submit my music to the GRAMMYs,” the 31-year-old artist told the New York Times in a statement. ET has reached out to The Weeknd’s rep and Republic Records for comment.
Per the outlet, the Recording Academy has “anonymous expert committees, which review initial nomination choices by the thousands of music professionals who make up the voting membership.”
Harvey Mason Jr., the Academy’s interim chief executive, told the Times, “We’re all disappointed when anyone is upset. But I will say that we are constantly evolving. And this year, as in past years, we are going to take a hard look at how to improve our awards process, including the nomination review committees.”
Mason Jr. previously told ET back in January, “The voting process is one that includes almost 12,000 people and these are professional music people. They vote on the music that they feel best represented excellence for that year. It’s really hard to predict from year to year what’s going to happen and you never know who they’re going to vote for, so it can surprise you sometimes.”
At the time of the 2021 nominations, The Weeknd tweeted, “The GRAMMYs remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency.”
The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…
He later said in an interview with Billboard that his past three GRAMMY wins meant “nothing” to him now.
“Look, I personally don’t care anymore. I have three GRAMMYs, which mean nothing to me now, obviously,” he expressed. “It’s not like, ‘Oh, I want the GRAMMY!’ It’s just that this happened, and I’m down to get in front of the fire, as long as it never happens again. I suck at giving speeches anyways. Forget awards shows.”
He added that he felt as if the GRAMMYs snub was “an attack.” “I just wanted answers. Like, ‘What happened?’ We did everything right, I think,” he explained. “I’m not a cocky person. I’m not arrogant. People told me I was going to get nominated. The world told me, like, ‘This is it; this is your year.’ We were all very confused.”
Previous reports suggested that The Weeknd’s lack of nominations was due to a disagreement over his plan to perform at both the Super Bowl and the GRAMMYs — an allegation Mason Jr. previously denied, and one that sources largely dispelled to ET.
Meanwhile, Drake, Kanye West, Frank Ocean, and more recently Zayn Malik, among others, have previously called out the Recording Academy for their lack of diversity. The Academy has since invited thousands of new members, hired a diversity officer and brought more women and people of color into its committees and leadership.
“It’s something we always continue to work with. I’ve been in this job for about seven, eight months, so it’s definitely a priority for me to continue to evolve how we choose our nominees and our winners,” Mason Jr. previously told ET. “Our voting membership is continuing to grow and the momentum around that feels very positive. The Weeknd’s an incredible artist with great music and we have had issues like that in the past. I’m sure there will be people in the future that will be unhappy, but we’ll always try to represent excellence, we’ll always try and get these things right, but it really comes down to the voters.”
ET will be providing nonstop coverage of the 63rd GRAMMY Awards. Join us this Sunday, March 14, when the GRAMMYs air live on CBS starting at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET.
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