Canadian hitmaker the Weeknd – real name Abel Tesfaye – has announced a permanent boycott of all future Grammy Awards.
The 31-year-old will no longer be allowing his label to submit any of his music to the awards ceremony. This comes after the singer failed to be nominated for a single award at the 2021 Grammys despite that After Hours was one of the year’s best-selling albums.
In a statement to the New York Times, the musician explained, “Because of the secret committees,” the Weeknd said, “I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.”
The committees the Weeknd is referring to work with the Recording Academy to review the nominations. These are the people who decide who makes the official shortlist, and they even have the power to add artists who received zero nominations in all but the four primary categories.
Following the announcement, Grammys interim president Harvey Mason Jr told the New York 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.”
He continued to explain the nomination review committees were in place to “eliminate the potential for a general-awareness bias that might favour artists who enjoy greater name recognition over emerging artists, independent music and late-year releases.”
The Weeknd previously slammed ‘corrupt’ Grammys
In November 2020, The Weeknd hit out at the Grammys via Instagram following his lack of nominations for the 2021 awards.
In the post, The Weeknd claimed, “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency.”
His song Blinding Lights was one of the biggest hits of 2020. The synthpop track spent four weeks at number one in the US, inspired a viral TikTok dance craze and was named record of the year by Variety, leaving fans disappointed when the Weeknd didn’t scoop up a single nomination.
Drake previously called for the Grammys to be replaced
After the Grammys failure to recognize the Weeknd for any of its categories, Drake claimed the awards ceremony aren’t what they once were.
In a statement on Instagram, Drake wrote, “I think we should stop allowing ourselves to be shocked every year by the disconnect between impactful music and these awards and just accept that what once was the highest form of recognition may no longer matter to the artists that exist now and the ones who come after.”
The rapper also mentioned other artists that had been snubbed by the Grammys, including Pop Smoke, Lil Baby, Partynextdoor, and Popcaan. This suggests the Grammys attempts to include greater diversity haven’t been well-received.