Grammys Changed Their Nomination Process but the Weeknd Thinks It's a "Plagued Award"

He also said the move was an "admission of corruption"

Photo: Anton Tammi

BY Josiah HughesPublished May 3, 2021

Despite mass critical and commercial acclaim, the Weeknd's excellent After Hours was not nominated for a Grammy this year. He spoke out against the organization, suggesting it chooses nominees based on "secret committees." In the wake of such criticisms, the Recording Academy has now overhauled its nomination process, although the Weeknd is still not impressed.

When the Weeknd said earlier this year that he would blacklist the Grammys because of their "secret committees," he was referring to the organization's nomination process. This previously saw committees of 15 to 30 music industry "peers" from specific "genre communities" choose which albums and songs were nominated in major categories.

Late last week, the Recording Academy announced that the "Big Four" categories — Album, Song and Record of the Year, plus Best New Artist — would no longer be chosen by committees, and neither will the genre-related categories. The committees had been in place since 1989 in general, and in charge of the Big Four nominees since 1989.

Instead, nominations will now be determined by a majority vote from the entire Recording Academy voting body.

In a new statement to the New York Times, the Weeknd responded to the change by stating he will continue to avoid the "plagued award." In full, he said, "Even though I won't be submitting my music, the Grammys' recent admission of corruption will hopefully be a positive move for the future of this plagued award and give the artist community the respect it deserves with a transparent voting process."

The next Grammys will be handed out on January 31, 2022.


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