The Weeknd, Justin Bieber Slam Grammys Over Snubs
The Weeknd reacted late Tuesday to being shut out of the nominations for the 63rd annual Grammy Awards and fellow Canadian Justin Bieber complained about being left out of R&B categories.
“The Grammys remain corrupt,” tweeted The Weeknd. “You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…”
Grammy nominations are determined by secret committees assembled by the Recording Academy using shortlists compiled by a screening committee that sifts through thousands of submissions.
In a statement, Recording Academy chair and interim president/CEO Harvey Mason Jr. admitted he was surprised The Weeknd was not among the nominees. “His music this year was excellent, and his contributions to the music community and broader world are worthy of everyone’s admiration,” he said. “Unfortunately, every year, there are fewer nominations than the number of deserving artists."
The Weeknd won three Grammys from 10 nominations between 2014 and 2018 – eight of which were for solo work and only two of those were in one of the four “General Field” categories. Beauty Behind the Madness was nominated for Album of the Year (it had to settle for Best Urban Contemporary Album) and “Can’t Feel My Face” was up for Record of the Year (it lost to “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars).
This year, The Weeknd was hoping his latest album After Hours would be recognized by Grammy voters. It includes tracks like “Blinding Lights,” a global smash that was co-written by fellow Canadians Belly (aka Ahmad Balshe) and Jason Quenneville.
Fans immediately took to social media to lash out at the Grammys for snubbing The Weeknd after the nominations were announced Tuesday.
Scott "Scooter" Braun, who manages artists like Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, tweeted that The Weeknd "deserved to be there as well and deserved better. Brilliant artist and brilliant album."
So why did The Weeknd come up empty this year?
TMZ and Variety are among the outlets that cited sources as claiming Grammy producers were ticked off that he agreed to perform the Super Bowl halftime show, which is airing a week after the Grammys on the same network. (Mason Jr. countered: "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.")
“A more likely scenario,” Variety reported, “is that the nominating committees legitimately, by the Grammys’ standards, chose other releases over his in their categories.”
Bieber, meanwhile, said although he is flattered to be acknowledged by the Grammys, he believes his album Changes should have been included in the R&B categories.
“I set out to make an R&B album. Changes was and is an R&B album,” he wrote in a message on Instagram. “It is not being acknowledged as an R&B album which is very strange to me. For this not to be put into that category feels weird considering from the chords to the melodies to the vocal style all the way down to the hip hop drums that were chosen it is undeniably, unmistakably an R&B album!”
Bieber earned noms for Best Pop Vocal Album (for Changes), Pop Solo Performance (“Yummy”) and Pop Duo/Group Performance (“Intentions” ft. Quavo). His collaboration with Dan + Shay is up for Best Country Duo/Group Performance.
Listen to music from The Weeknd & Justin Bieber