Updated: When the 2021 Grammy Award nominations were being introduced in November, countless numbers of individuals ended up shocked to see that the Weeknd — 1 of the most commercially and critically productive artists of the previous 12 months, whose one “Blinding Lights” just became the to start with song ever to spend a full calendar year in the Best 10 of the Billboard Sizzling 100 — was not nominated for any awards.
The inexplicable and/or suspicious snub, the biggest in Grammy historical past, could only be described as the perform of the “secret committees” of market veterans, executives and artists who establish the nominees in selected, but not all, categories. The perform of the committees was singled out for alleged insider working in a blockbuster lawful grievance by Deborah Dugan, who was ousted as president/CEO of the Recording Academy last yr soon after serving just eight months, as a image of longstanding corruption within just the Grammy bureaucracy. Though the Weeknd and his team had generally permitted the scenario to die down in recent months, as he executed as the Super Bowl’s headlining halftime performer final month, it flared up all over again on the Thursday before the Grammys when he stated in a statement to the New York Instances that he will boycott the awards, at the very least right up until alter is instituted.
“Because of the magic formula committees,” the Weeknd stated, “I will no for a longer time let my label to submit my audio to the Grammys.”
It is definitely possible that the committees — or the voters for the types that don’t have mystery committees — did not give the Weekend plenty of votes, or that some computation-system oddity was accountable for the snub. But several really believe that it, and several theories have been posited, most typically that somebody, and it is not distinct who, simply just did not want the Weeknd to accomplish at each the Grammys and the Super Bowl, which ended up originally scheduled just a week apart (the Grammys ended up moved from Jan. 31 to this Sunday because of to a coronavirus spike in Southern California). That idea is produced even far more puzzling by the truth that the Weeknd’s crew, the NFL, CBS (which broadcasts both equally the Grammys and the Super Bowl) and Super Bowl halftime advisor Roc Country held intensive meetings and worked out the problem so that he could do equally — only to have the concern turn out to be moot times later on, when the Weeknd was excluded from the nominations and properly out of the jogging to be a performer on the show.
Among various other promises, Dugan’s grievance alleges that some board users on the “secret committees” represent or have interactions with nominated artists that the Board takes advantage of these committees as an prospect to thrust forward artists with whom they have relationships and that the Board also manipulates the nominations procedure to ensure that sure tracks or albums are nominated when the producer of the Grammys wants a individual track executed through the present. The legal condition among Dugan and the Recording Academy is ongoing, and both equally have declined requests by Range for comment.
Requested about the snub by Range on the day the nominations were being declared, interim Grammy main Harvey Mason jr., who changed Dugan, declined to discover fault with the Academy’s course of action, stating, “it actually just will come down to the voting overall body that decides. We have eight nomination slots to fill in [the “Big Four” categories: Best Album, Song, Record and New Artist], five in some others, and the voters vote for their favorites.”
Asked yet again about the circumstance before this week, Mason advised Selection: “Some of it was [decided by] the [secret] nominating committees and some was the voting physique, due to the fact some of the awards he was eligible for did not have nominating committees, so it was a combination of both equally. But once more, it is regrettable, we by no means like to see any person as talented as the Weeknd get remaining out or come to feel left out. It is not a little something any of us are pleased about.”
Having said that, the Weeknd’s situation encompasses much extra than indignant followers or an artist’s comprehensible confusion and harm around a person of the biggest albums of the earlier decade being inexplicably excluded from the new music world’s best awards: It appears to be proof of deep dysfunction — or worse — in the nominating procedure of all those awards.
Requested if the egregious snub suggests that the Academy will take into consideration shifting its regulations at its forthcoming board meetings in Might, Mason reported, “The system is definitely something that we’re going to go on to appear at and carry on to make certain that it is evolving as music continues to evolve,” introducing “I’ll hopefully have extra issues to speak about in the future.”
Mason, who is also chair of the Academy’s Board of Trustees, is expected to move down for a new, permanent president/CEO in May possibly, despite the fact that the collection procedure is still underway.
Wassim Slaiby, the supervisor of the Weeknd, informed the Instances an electronic mail job interview that it was nonetheless unclear why his shopper was not nominated. “We had been numerous months and dozens of phone calls in with the Grammy group all-around Abel’s effectiveness ideal up to the working day of nominations becoming declared,” said Slaiby, who is known as Sal. “We were scratching our heads in confusion and wanted responses.”
Reps for the Weeknd, his label, Republic Data, and the Recording Academy declined or did not instantly react to Selection‘s requests for additional remark.
Slaiby explained he hopes the Weeknd’s stand evokes other artists to communicate out in opposition to the key committees.
“The Grammys ought to manage their legacy and clean up it up to elevate the bar to a level wherever all people could be proud to keep up that award,” he mentioned. “This is Harvey’s possibility to move up and have his legacy be the dude who got the Grammys at last appropriate.”