The Weeknd will no longer submit his music for Grammy Awards consideration.
The Canadian artist, born Abel Tesfaye, told the New York Times, “Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.” He did not elaborate further.
Despite his critical and commercial success — he headlined the Super Bowl halftime show in February — The Weeknd garnered zero nominations this year for his fourth studio album, “After Hours.” It was largely considered the biggest snub of the year, and after nominations were announced in November, The Weeknd tweeted, “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency.”
The Weeknd previously won Grammys for Best Urban Contemporary Album in 2015 and 2018, and Best R&B Performance in 2016 for “Earned It.”
Other Black artists including Drake, Kanye West and Frank Ocean have also criticized and boycotted the Grammys in recent years, in part over the awards show’s selection process.
In January 2020, ousted Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan alleged that the Grammy Awards voting process was “ripe with corruption” and conflicts of interest.
The Recording Academy responded by defending its nomination practices as “fair and ethical.”
“It is the goal of the Recording Academy to ensure the Grammy Awards process is led in a fair and ethical manner and that voting members make their choices based solely on the artistic excellence and technical merits of eligible recordings,” Bill Freimuth, the Recording Academy’s chief awards officer, said in a statement to TheWrap at the time. “Spurious allegations claiming members or committees use our process to push forward nominations for artists they have relationships.
The Recording Academy has employed a task force led by Time’s Up CEO Tina Chen to implement changes to diversify the ranks of its nomination review committees, many details of which remain clandestine.
In response to The Weeknd’s boycott, interim Academy CEO Henry 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.”
The Recording Academy did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for further comment.
TheWrap’s awards editor, Steve Pond, noted that when the Grammys expanded its four general categories to eight nominees in an attempt to be more inclusive and diverse, it created a dynamic that made it easy for the hip-hop music that dominated the nominations to split the vote and lead to wins for pop artists.
You can read more of Pond’s predictions for this year’s awards here.
The Grammys air this Sunday on CBS.