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.
Recording Academy interim chief Harvey Mason Jr. told The Times in response to The Weeknd’s statement, “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.”
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 in November, Mason Jr. said of The Weeknd’s lack of nominations 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.
Mason also added, “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. All Grammy nominees are recognized by the voting body for their excellence, and we congratulate them all.”
In response, The Weeknd elaborated in a tweet that he had been planning his Grammy performance “for weeks” before learning he received zero nominations. “Collaboratively planning a performance for weeks to not being invited? In my opinion zero nominations = you’re not invited!” The Weeknd tweeted.
The singer’s 2021 Grammys snub for his album and hit single “Blinding Lights” came as a surprise given the singer was expected to be a major nominee for the upcoming ceremony. The Weeknd had recently come off of big wins at the recent American Music Awards and had been as the headliner for the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show.
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to representatives for The Weekend and the Recording Academy for further comment.
March 12, 8:47 a.m. This story has been updated to include Mason’s comment to The New York Times in response to The Weeknd’s statement.