The Weeknd is feeling blindsided by the Grammys after the organization snubbed his latest album, After Hours. The three-time Grammy-winner, who was not nominated for any awards this year, went to Twitter on Tuesday to express his frustration.
"The Grammys remain corrupt," he wrote. "You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…"
The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) November 25, 2020
According to TMZ, the 30-year-old artist was recently engaged in a weeks-long dispute with the Grammy executives who gave him an ultimatum to perform at their awards show or sing at the Super Bowl in February. The two sides eventually agreed that the artist can perform at both events. But there seems to be bad blood still dividing the two parties.
A source who spoke to TMZ said the bitter back-and-forth may have played a factor in the Grammy's decision to snub the Weeknd, who wasn't nominated for an award despite the massive success of his chart-topping album.
A source gave their account of the feud to Rolling Stone.
“There was an ultimatum given resulting in a struggle over him also playing the Super Bowl that went on for some time and was eventually agreed upon that he would perform at both events," the source told Rolling Stone. "[The Recording Academy] had all these convos with the Weeknd team in the past month, and today on Nov. 24, The Weeknd had not one nomination and is now completely ignored by the Grammys.”
Although it's not clear why The Recording Academy wouldn't want The Weeknd to perform at both events, it's possible that they were trying to avoid a duplicate performance since CBS is broadcasting the award show and the game one week apart, TMZ reported.
Featuring hits such as "Heartless," "In Your Eyes" and "Save Your Tears," After Hours spent four consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard 200. But The Weeknd's name didn't appear in any of the nominations for the 2020 Grammy Awards, Esquire reported.
Harvey Mason Jr., interim president and CEO of the Grammys, responded to the artist's frustration in a written statement.
"We understand that The Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated. I was 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," Mason said, according to NBC News. "Unfortunately, every year, there are fewer nominations than the number of deserving artists."
The "Blinding Lights" singer, whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, announced earlier this month that he would perform at the Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida, in February.
Nicki Minaj also went to social media to slam the Recording Academy, recalling a time when she was snubbed.
"Never forget the Grammys didn’t give me my best new artist award when I had seven songs simultaneously charting on billboard and bigger first week than any female rapper in the last decade- went on to inspire a generation," the 37-year-old said. "They gave it to the white man Bon Iver."
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
There were many more artists who came to defend The Weeknd.
"Abel was robbed man this s**ts weak," Kid Cudi tweeted.
Abel was robbed man this shits weak
— The Chosen One (@KidCudi) November 24, 2020
Elton John, who is a co-writer for After Hours, went to Instagram to defend the Canadian star.
"In my humble opinion… Blinding Lights, Song of the Year, Record of the Year," John said.