The Weeknd Says the GRAMMYs 'Remain Corrupt' After Nomination Snub

The 'Blinding Lights' singer slammed the organization and the awards show after the nominations were announced on Tuesday.

The Weeknd is calling out the GRAMMYs. The "Blinding Lights" singer took to Twitter on Tuesday to slam the awards show after getting snubbed when nominations were announced earlier in the day.

Despite his recent album, After Hours, breaking streaming records, and his single "Blinding Lights" breaking the record for most weeks in the Billboard Hot 100's top five -- not to mention scores of award wins at other ceremonies throughout the year -- The Weeknd was shut out entirely when it came to the 2021 GRAMMY Awards.

The celebrated artist addressed the snub head-on, and made a bold accusation against the organization while demanding elucidation in regards to their nomination process.

"The Grammys remain corrupt," The Weeknd tweeted. "You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency..."

The tweet came shortly after reports surfaced that The Weeknd and his reps had recently gotten into heated negotiations with GRAMMY execs. According to TMZ, the show gave The Weeknd an ultimatum with regards to performing at the GRAMMYs or performing at the Super Bowl.

The outlet reported that the singer and the GRAMMYs reps finally came to an agreement that he could perform at both events, but that the talks got heated. It's unclear if The Weeknd's recent tweet is an insinuation that his snub could be a result of the soured negotiations. 

In a statement to ET, Recording Academy Chair and Interim President/CEO Harvey Mason Jr. attributed The Weeknd's lack of nominations to the voting body. 

"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. 

"We were thrilled when we found out he would be performing at the upcoming Super Bowl and we would have loved to have him also perform on the GRAMMY stage the weekend before," he continued. "Unfortunately, every year, there are fewer nominations than the number of deserving artists. But as the only peer-voted music award, we will continue to recognize and celebrate excellence in music while shining a light on the many amazing artists that make up our global community. 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.  All GRAMMY nominees are recognized by the voting body for their excellence, and we congratulate them all."

Meanwhile, source close to the situation tells ET that there were many conversations between the GRAMMYs and The Weeknd's team about his performance slated for the upcoming ceremony. The sources say 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.

A second source with knowledge of the situation says, "The GRAMMYs and the Super Bowl will both air on CBS, of course they wanted him to perform on both events."

The source adds that The Weeknd's "Super Bowl performance was likely to be promoted during the GRAMMYs."

These conversations occurred in the past month, between nomination ballots on Oct. 12 and Tuesday's nominations.

On Wednesday, The Weeknd took to Instagram to respond to the reports, writing, "Collaboratively planning a performance for weeks to not being invited? In my opinion zero nominations = you’re not invited!"

On Wednesday, Drake -- who famously called out the awards show in his own GRAMMYs acceptance speech in 2019 -- took to his Instagram story to share his thoughts on the snub.

"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 artists that exist now and the ones that come after," Drake wrote. "It's like a relative you keep expecting to fix up but they just can't change their ways."

"The other day I said @theweeknd was a lock for either album or song of the year along with countless other reasonable assumptions and it just never goes that way," he continued. "This is a great time for somebody to start something new that we can build up over time and pass on to the generations to come."


The Weeknd and Nicki Minaj -- who tweeted about losing the Best New Artist award at the 2012 Grammys on Tuesday --  also shared Drake's post on their Instagram Stories. 

Fans also had some very strong feelings about The Weeknd's exclusion, with many expressing anger and frustration over the possible politics involved in what is supposed to be a celebration of popular music.

A few other artists who were notably snubbed this year include Katy Perry, Selena Gomez and Luke Combs, among others.

The 2021 GRAMMYs, hosted by Trevor Noah, will be held Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021 and will air live on CBS and CBS All Access. The Super Bowl LV will take place in Tampa, Florida, on Sunday, Feb. 7 and will also air live on CBS.

For more on this year's GRAMMY Award nominations, check out the video below.


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