The Weeknd will no longer participate in the Grammys, and he’s not the only superstar musician to call out the Recording Academy.
In a statement made this week, the pop artist said he will no longer submit songs for the music industry’s most prestigious annual awards show after it declined to nominate him for a single accolade following the March 2020 release of his After Hours album (that contained the 2,000,000,000-play hit single “Blinding Lights,” that as spent a record breaking 52 weeks in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.)
In particular, The Weeknd has taken issue with the lack of transparency of the voting process for the most coveted awards. Nominations are chosen by members of the Recording Academy, a group composed of industry artists, producers and executives and other staffers. Since 1995, however, the most revered Grammy awards — including Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year — have been chosen by a secret committee of academy members, according to Billboard magazine.
According to the Associated Press, “Blinding Lights” is one of only five Billboard #1 songs in the last 30 years to not receive a Grammy nod and The Weeknd album on which the song appears was also omitted from this years nomination list.
Born Abel Tesfaye, the Toronto-born singer/songwriter isn’t the only artist calling out the Grammys ahead of its 63rd annual broadcast on Sunday (3.14). British singer and songwriter Zayn Malik tweeted out an expletive-filled disapproval of the same legendary organization with former member of One Direction accusing the institution of playing favorites after it declined to nominate him for Nobody Is Listening, his third studio album.
In response to the blatant omission – which industry insiders speculate had to do with The Weeknd’s Super Bowl 2020 Half Time show – the Republic Records artist has requested that his record label no longer submit his music for Recording Academy award consideration.