GRAMMYS READY PANDEMIC SHOW, AS THE WEEKND BOYCOTTS FUTURE AWARDS
The event on Sunday will address the challenges of a music industry hit hard by the pandemic. The Weeknd, who was snubbed, says he will boycott the awards going forward, in a sign of continuing friction with artists.
When music fans tune in to the 63rd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night, with Trevor Noah as host and performances by nearly two dozen stars including Taylor Swift, Cardi B, Dua Lipa and BTS, they will see the music world coming together in celebration and friendly competition after a grueling year.
Beyoncé, who has nine nominations, will be aiming for her first win in a major category since 2010, while Swift has five nominations connected to “Folklore,” an album made entirely in quarantine. The show will also address the pandemic’s painful impact on music, with an extended “in memoriam” segment and a spotlight on the independent venues that represent music history, but which have suffered devastating blows after a year of lost business.
But behind the scenes, the industry is waging a war for the soul of the Grammys, after years of accusations of bias against women and Black artists, and complaints over an opaque voting system that critics say is unfair and out of touch.
Every year there are winners and losers. But this year’s biggest controversy highlights the way names get on the ballot in the first place. It involves the Weeknd, the Canadian pop star whose sleek, high-concept earworms like “Blinding Lights” have broken chart records and drawn wide critical acclaim; last month he also played the Super Bowl halftime show, perhaps pop music’s biggest big-tent moment. Yet when it came time for Grammy nominations, the Weeknd got nothing. READ MORE
THE WEEKND TO BOYCOTT FUTURE GRAMMY AWARDS FOLLOWING ‘AFTER HOURS’ NOMINATIONS SNUB
“Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys,” the Canadian singer said in a statement to The New York Times.
The Weeknd (real name Abel Tesfaye) has stated he will boycott the Grammy Awards moving forward, including no longer attending the ceremony or submitting his work for consideration following his 2021 nomination snub.
“Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys,” Tesfaye said in a statement to The New York Times on Thursday.
Despite the success of The Weeknd’s latest album After Hours, it was snubbed when the 2021 Grammy nominations were announced in November. “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans, and the industry transparency …,” the Canadian singer tweeted after the nominations were announced.
In a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter, Recording Academy chief Harvey Mason Jr. responded to The Weeknd’s claims last fall and expressed that he was also 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,” Mason said. READ MORE