Many music fans, recording artists, and industry insiders were shocked when the 63rd Annual Grammy Award nominations were announced and The Weeknd’s name was completely left off the list. The word “snub” was quickly used to describe the omission.
“The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans, and the industry transparency…,” tweeted The Weeknd on November 24, 2020. With the commerical and critical success of his After Hours album and “Blinding Lights” single, there was widespread confusion on why the Canadian superstar did not get a single nod from the Recording Academy.
The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) November 25, 2020
Harvey Mason Jr., the Recording Academy interim president/CEO, responded, “The process is there so we can continue to monitor excellence. I was in the ‘core room’ this year [which decides the main categories] and I observed, and the people in it are music professionals, at the top of their craft in songwriting and producing and there are a lot of artists.”
Billboard caught up with The Weeknd for a cover story about the performer and his XO Records team. The article included the man born Abel Tesfaye sharing his thoughts on getting ignored by the Grammys for the 2021 ceremony.
“I use a sucker punch as an analogy,” said The Weeknd. “Because it just kind of hit me out of nowhere. I definitely felt… I felt things. I don’t know if it was sadness or anger. I think it was just confusion. I just wanted answers. Like, ‘What happened?’”
The R&B/Pop performer continued, “We did everything right, I think. I’m not a cocky person. I’m not arrogant. People told me I was going to get nominated. The world told me. Like, ‘This is it; this is your year.’ We were all very confused.”
Tesfaye went on to say he personally does not care about the controversy anymore. He added, “I have three Grammys, which mean nothing to me now, obviously. It’s not like, ‘Oh, I want the Grammy!’ It’s just that this happened, and I’m down to get in front of the fire, as long as it never happens again.”