The Weeknd Calls Grammys ‘Corrupt,’ Regardless of Inspiring Their Current Rule Change: ‘I Will Not Be Submitting Music within the Future’ (EXCLUSIVE)


The Weeknd has responded to the rule changes for the Grammy Awards announced by the Recording Academy on Friday — primarily a change that eliminates the “secret” nomination-review committees that performed a key function in his being shut out of all nominations for the 2021 awards, regardless of having one of many largest albums and the most-streamed single of the 12 months with “After Hours” and “Blinding Lights,” respectively.

“The belief has been damaged for therefore lengthy between the Grammy group and artists that it will be unwise to lift a victory flag,” he tells Selection, including that he’ll proceed to withhold his music from consideration for the awards. Nonetheless, he does say that the transfer is “an necessary begin.”

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“I believe the trade and public alike must see the clear system really at play for the win to be celebrated, but it surely’s an necessary begin,” he continues. “I stay bored with being part of the Grammys, particularly with their very own admission of corruption for all these a long time. I can’t be submitting sooner or later.”

His supervisor, Wassim “Sal” Slaiby, added, “No change comes with out a voice heard. I’m simply pleased with Abel for standing up for what he believes in. I used to be in a shock when all this occurred however now I see it clearly, and I’m glad we stood for our beliefs.”

Whereas there was no said “admission of corruption” from the Grammys in asserting the rule change, in an interview with Variety late Friday, interim Grammy chief Harvey Mason jr. said he had been working to eradicate the committees for months earlier than the Weeknd snub. Mason declined to take a position whether or not that scenario might have influenced the ultimate resolution — which was made by a vote from 44 members of the Academy’s board of trustees — however there’s little query that it performed a task, and he did say, “Any time an artist, particularly considered one of that stature, calls our course of into query or thinks one thing is unfair… the Academy is after all going to be affected by that, and wish to work to make issues higher.”

Reps for the Recording Academy didn’t instantly reply to Selection‘s requests for remark early Monday.

When the Weeknd was bafflingly excluded from the 2021 nominations, many individuals, together with the Weeknd and Slaiby, basically stated they believed self-interest inside the committees to be the wrongdoer (though there was no committee for the Pop class, considered one of three the place he would have been a probable candidate). Nonetheless, Mason repeatedly pressured that the transfer was the unbiased resolution of the nomination-review committees. “There’s no agendas in there, there’s no ‘let’s snub this particular person or that particular person,’” he told Variety after the nominations had been introduced in November. “It’s about, ‘Let’s attempt to discover excellence.’”

Regardless of these statements, some speculated that the snub was on account of opposition to the Weeknd being scheduled to carry out at each the Tremendous Bowl and the Grammys — which had been initially scheduled every week aside. Nonetheless, all events stated that scenario had been efficiently resolved, solely to turn into moot when the Weeknd acquired no nominations.

“They engaged with us very closely and at size to be part of their present after which all the pieces stopped,” Slaiby tells Selection, including that Mason “claimed that he’d look into it and get again to us. By no means heard a phrase again on that one.”

Whereas all music awards are by nature subjective, it was unprecedented for an artist to have achieved the degrees of crucial and business success that the Weeknd’s “After Hours” album and “Blinding Lights” single and never obtain even one nomination.

As for what he’d prefer to see subsequent from the Academy — which is predicted to announce a brand new president/CEO subsequent month, with Mason stepping down from his interim function — Slaiby says: “I wish to see a good and accountable course of be put into place and held to that new customary that’s set forth. That is their likelihood to make this iconic award imply one thing once more and have credibility. To the brand new CEO I might simply implore that they run this proper and step away from old skool backdoor politics which have plagued the Grammys for years. Be recent and function with honor.”

Whereas the Weekend calls the elimination of the Grammy nomination-review committees “a constructive begin,” he additionally says there are extra necessary points for the music trade to be grappling with — as evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of {dollars} he has given to charitable causes in latest months, including MusiCares, the Recording Academy’s charity, in addition to $1 million in food aid to war-torn Ethiopia, the African nation the place his household is from.

“The trade can hold stepping as much as share their income to assist these in want in numerous conditions and to assist the marginalized communities who create and purchase the music they promote,” he says. “We’ve seen some motion there and I count on and encourage much more. I care about making music that folks love and serving to the place I can. Proper now my concern is what’s occurring in my dwelling nation of Ethiopia and encourage folks to pay attention to what is going on and donate the place they’ll.”

He additionally stated lately that he’s accomplished a doable album he recorded throughout lockdown. Requested how that music could be totally different from “After Hours,” he stated: “If the final file is the after hours of the evening, then the daybreak is coming.”

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