The 63rs annual Grammy Awards have kicked off, and though it looks like we’re in for a slew of big moments in the ceremony, the calls to boycott the awards from within the music industry have become louder again.
Other artists have joined The Weeknd in calling out the Recording Academy’s lack of transparency around nominations and whether it’s all music politics and favouritism, including Zayn Malik and Nicki Minaj.
The Weeknd – who made Billboard Hot 100 history with ‘Blinding Lights‘ spending an entire year in the chart’s top 10 – sent a statement to The New York Times about why he’s boycotting future awards. His huge track was snubbed by the awards, receiving zero nominations, which brought attention to the nominations process and how much people don’t know about it, or who is on the committee.
“Because of the secret committees,” The Weeknd said in the statement.
“I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.”
Other celebs have spent days and hours leading up to the Grammy Awards pointing out the issues in the nominations process and how the Academy needs to be more transparent to quash “favouritism, racism, and networking politics”.
Fuck the grammys and everyone associated. Unless you shake hands and send gifts, there’s no nomination considerations. Next year I’ll send you a basket of confectionary.
— zayn (@zaynmalik) March 9, 2021
My tweet was not personal or about eligibility but was about the need for inclusion and the lack of transparency of the nomination process and the space that creates and allows favoritism, racism, and netwokring politics to influence the voting process
— zayn (@zaynmalik) March 10, 2021
.@recordingacad are moving in inches and we need to move in miles. I’m keeping the pressure on & fighting for transparency & inclusion. We need to make sure we are honoring and celebrating “creative excellence” of ALL. End the secret committees. Until then … #fuckthegrammys
— zayn (@zaynmalik) March 14, 2021
Nicki Minaj, Teyana Taylor, and Wiz Khalifa spoke out late last year when the nominations dropped, pointing out how crook the nomination process is. The discussion around the Grammys is signalling the serious need for the process to be less opaque in the future to avoid perpetuating racism, sexism, and the shared belief that artists need to scratch backs to get a look in, instead of it being based on creative talent and producing strong work.
Yea that's a surprise but its politics. If you don't show up to their parties they don't throw your name around https://t.co/Y7jfv18GH8
— Wiz Khalifa (@wizkhalifa) November 24, 2020
Y’all was better off just saying best MALE R&B ALBUM cause all I see is dick in this category. https://t.co/LlL769FbTR
— TEYANA M.J. SHUMPERT (@TEYANATAYLOR) November 24, 2020
Never forget the Grammys didn’t give me my best new artist award when I had 7 songs simultaneously charting on billboard & bigger first week than any female rapper in the last decade- went on to inspire a generation. They gave it to the white man Bon Iver. #PinkFriday
— Mrs. Petty (@NICKIMINAJ) November 24, 2020
The Weeknd is not the only one who’s openly questioned and criticised the awards, this conversation has been bubbling for years. Let us not forget the time Drake called out the nominations process AT the awards when he won Best Rap Song back in 2019, and got his mic cut off mid-speech.
It’ll be interesting to see if things change after this year’s awards, and whether these ~secret committees~ reveal themselves.