The Weeknd is serious about boycotting the Grammy Awards.
In a new statement to The New York Times, the singer, who was snubbed from nominations this year, announced that going forward, he will not let his label submit his music for Grammys consideration. He pointed to the “secret committees” involved in the voting process for the award ceremony.
“Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys,” the musician, born Abel Tesfaye, told the Times.
The Times explains that these anonymous voting parties “who review initial nomination choices by the thousands of music professionals who make up the voting membership of the Recording Academy, the nonprofit group behind the awards, and — for 61 of the Grammys’ 84 categories — have the final say about who makes the cut.”
Tesfaye’s statement comes three days ahead of the Grammys’ March 14 ceremony, and months after he publicly accused the award show of corruption. In November, when his record-breaking and chart-topping album After Hours was snubbed from the nominations, he tweeted, “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency.”
At the time, Recording Academy chief chief Harvey Mason, Jr. responded to the claims, saying, “We understand that The Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated. I was surprised and can empathize with what he’s feeling. His music this year was excellent, and his contributions to the music community and broader world are worthy of everyone’s admiration.”
He added, “Unfortunately, every year, there are fewer nominations than the number of deserving artists. But as the only peer-voted music award, we will continue to recognize and celebrate excellence in music while shining a light on the many amazing artists that make up our global community.”
Tesfaye is one of the latest artists to publicly shun the Grammys, following the likes of Kanye West, Frank Ocean, and even Drake, who called out the award show as he accepted a gramophone at the 2019 ceremony. “I wanna let you know we’re playing in an opinion-based sport not a factual-based sport,” he told his fellow artists from the stage.
The Weeknd has been nominated for 10 Grammys and won three throughout his career. Of the singer’s latest statement Mason 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.” Part of the changes includes inviting thousands of new members, hiring a diversity officer, and bringing on more women and people of color.
From Harper’s Bazaar US