The Grammys Committee Might Have Shut Out The Weeknd Because He Chose To Perform At The Super Bowl (But The Head Of The Grammys Denies This)
Yesterday the Recording Academy announced their nominations for the 2021 Grammy Awards and many pointed out that The Weeknd was snubbed for his critically acclaimed album After Hours. To borrow a Mean Girls metaphor, The Weeknd was Gretchen Wieners, and there was no candy canes for him in the Grammy’s bag yesterday. As it turns out, there might be a reason why The Weeknd has been shut out of the 2021 Grammys, and it has to do with the Super Bowl.
Whether or not you’re into the kind of music that’s perfect for snorting crushed-up pills off the dashboard of a red 1986 Acura Integra, After Hours was objectively a successful album. It received high reviews and was the best selling/streaming album of the first half of 2020. The album’s most popular song, “Blinding Lights,” spent 51 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. According to TMZ, the reason that a successful album like After Hours got shut out was because The Weeknd made a decision that allegedly pissed off the Recording Academy, and that was his decision to headline the 2021 Super Bowl Halftime Show.
It was announced earlier this month that The Weeknd will headline Halftime Show on February 7, 2021 at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, which will be broadcast on CBS. The 63rd annual Grammy Awards are on January 31, 2021 and will also be broadcast on CBS. Sources tell TMZ that the reason this got messy is because the Recording Academy reportedly wanted The Weeknd to choose between performing at the Grammys or the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl happens one week after the Grammys, and it sounds like maybe people were worried that if he chose to perform at both, then CBS viewers would get a case of déjà-vu from The Weeknd’s back-to-back performances. It sounds like negotiations got messy, and maybe someone on the Grammy’s side of things decided to get petty come nomination time.
We’re told both sides eventually came to an agreement where Abel could do both, but not without negotiations getting very testy…Our sources say there’s growing suspicion Abel’s decision to perform at this year’s Super Bowl cost him Grammy noms because the bitter back-and-forth talks pissed off Grammy honchos…Our sources tell us Abel and co. feel the dispute might have something to do with his exclusion.
The Weeknd usually has this nihilistic energy about him that screams, “Whatever, we all die in the end anyway, right?“. But he’s not being his usual apathetic self in this situation. No way, The Weeknd is mad! The Weeknd went on Twitter and Instagram to call out the Grammys for his zero nominations and accused them of possible fraud. Where have I heard this one before? And before that? Hmmm.
The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) November 25, 2020
In a statement, Harvey Mason Jr., the Recording Academy chief, says that he too was surprised that The Weeknd was completely shut out and denies that the Super Bowl had anything to do with it:
“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. 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.
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.”
TMZ says that there is a chance The Weeknd could still perform at the Grammys. Are we sure about that? He just called them out for corruption. Plus, what would be the point? No one can ever do a “pissed off at the Grammy voting committee” performance better than Mary J. Blige. As it stands right now, CBS is probably preparing for a longer delay in the Super Bowl broadcast to ensure no one at home hears The Weeknd say, “Fuck the Grammys” into his mic.