The 2021 Grammy Award nomination list caused a schism yesterday after The Weeknd failed to receive any Grammys nods, despite the enormous success of his album After Hours and single ‘Blinding Lights.’
Following the nomination snub, The Weeknd took to Twitter to criticise the Grammys for corruption, writing: “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…”
The lack of nominations for The Weeknd — real name Abel Tesfaye — came as a surprise to fans and the industry alike. ‘Blinding Lights’ dominated the airwaves over the year — breaking the record for the most weeks spent atop Billboard‘s Radio Songs airplay chart.
The omission of Tesfaye from the nominee list incited a maelstrom of theories. In a new follow-up statement, The Weeknd has shed light on what may have been the catalyst for the snub.
“Collaboratively planning a performance for weeks to not being invited? In my opinion zero nominations = you’re not invited!,” he wrote.
As Variety report, Tesfaye was referencing a discussion between The Weeknd’s team and The Grammys about his performance on the show that conflicted with the Super Bowl halftime spot, which airs the week following the ceremony.
According to the report, after arduous back-and-forth discussion as to whether or not he could perform on both shows, he was given the thumbs up. After the nomination snub, a performance from The Weeknd is looking unlikely.
In an extensive statement, Grammy Chief Harvey Mason, jr. debunked theories that the Recording Academy were acting out of spite.
“We understand that The Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated,” Mason wrote. “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. We were thrilled when we found out he would be performing at the upcoming Super Bowl and we would have loved to have him also perform on the Grammy stage the weekend before.
“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. To be clear, voting in all categories ended well before The Weeknd’s performance at the Super Bowl was announced, so in no way could it have affected the nomination process.”