The Weeknd opens with the latest changes to the rules committee announced by the Recording Academy on Friday, and the pop star redoubles her decision to boycott the Grammy after being excluded from all nominations for the 2021 awards.
The artist “After Hours” – born Abel Tesfaye – had one of the biggest albums of the year, which included The Weeknd the most broadcast single of the year with “Blinding Lights” and a performance of Super Bowl LIV Halftime. So he and his team weren’t too excited about their current position in the eyes of the recording academy, although the organization eliminated “secret” nomination and review committees that decide who will launch the trophy.
“Trust has been broken for so long between the Grammys and the artists that it would be unwise to raise a flag for victory,”
“I think both industry and the public need to see a transparent system that really plays out to celebrate the victory, but that’s an important start,” he said. “I remain uninterested in being part of the Grammys, especially with their recognition of corruption over all these decades. I will not perform in the future.”
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The 10-time nominee previously won three Grammys: Best Urban Contemporary Album for Starboy in 2017, and in 2015 won Best R&B Performance for Earned It and Best Urban Contemporary Album for Beauty Behind The Madness.
He is among many big names and performers who criticize Grammy for his lack of diversity in decision-making. Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber also expressed disappointment with the nomination process.
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Among the notable changes is the elimination of nomination review committees, long considered “secret” committees, which are accused of hurting the chances of nominations and profits by artists.
“Nominations in all general and genre areas of the GRAMMY Award will now be determined by a majority vote between partners of voting members of the Recording Academy,” the academy said in a statement. “Previously, many of the categories in these areas used 15-30 highly qualified music colleagues who presented and voted within their genre communities for the final selection of nominees.”
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Weeknd manager Wassim “Sal” Slaby added to Variety that he was “proud” of the artist to stand by his conviction in his choice to give up his music from considering Grammy forward.
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“No change comes without a voice. I’m only proud of Abel, who stands up for what he believes in,” Slaby said. “I was shocked when all this happened, but now I see it clearly and I’m glad we defended our beliefs.”
Nate Day on Fox News contributed to this report.