Drake was nominated for Best Rap Album for Certified Lover Boy and Best Rap Performance for his song, "Way 2 Sexy" (featuring Future and Young Thug). A source tells ET that the decision to withdraw his nominations was one that Drake and his management made, and that the Recording Academy honored his request.
Drake has voiced his displeasure with the GRAMMY Awards in the past. He didn't attend the GRAMMYs in 2017 despite being one of the most nominated artists that year and winning two awards -- Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Performance for his mega hit, "Hotline Bling" -- and he later talked about his views on Apple's Beats 1. Drake said he wasn't happy that he was only being recognized as a rapper by the Recording Academy.
"I'm a Black artist, I'm apparently a rapper, even though 'Hotline Bling' is not a rap song," he said on the show. "The only category that they can manage to fit me in is in a rap category, maybe because I've rapped in the past or because I'm Black."
"I won two awards but I don't even want them because it feels weird to me," he added.
In 2019, when he won the GRAMMY for Best Rap song for "God's Plan," his speech was cut off when he noted that an artist doesn't need a GRAMMY to validate one's career.
"We play in an opinion-based sport, not a factual-based sport," he said. "This is a business where sometimes it's up to a bunch of people that might not understand what a mixed-race kid from Canada has to say ... the point is you've already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you're a hero in your hometown."
"Look, if there's people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain and snow, spending money to buy tickets to your shows, you don't need this right here," he continued. "You already won."
Drake also voiced his support for The Weeknd last November after the "Save Your Tears" singer received zero nominations for his album, After Hours, and accused the GRAMMYs of corruption.
Drake shared in an Instagram Story, "I think we should stop allowing ourselves to be shocked every year by the disconnect between impactful music and these awards and just accept that what once was the highest form of recognition may no longer matter to the artist that exist now and the ones that come after. It's like a relative you keep expecting to fix up but they just won't change their ways. The other day I said The Weeknd was a lock for either album or song of the year along with countless other reasonable assumptions and it just never goes that way. This is a great time for somebody to start something new that we can build up overtime and pass on to the generations to come."