By Scott Daniels
This year froze touring plans, delayed production on new projects, and was terrifying to artists across the board. But the music created during this time has shown that artistry won’t die in a pandemic. Which leads us back to that time of year again, anticipating dresses and drama at the Grammys ceremony, the latter of which is kicked off by The Weeknd.
Abel Tesfaye also known as The Weeknd, arguably had the most successful album this year. “After Hours” is the Weeknd’s fourth consecutive album to top the Billboard 200 and more specifically, the biggest single “Blinding Lights” spent 33 weeks in the Billboard’s top five.
So, after the Grammy nominations were released, why didn’t The Weeknd receive a single one?
“The people in that room care: there are no agendas in there, there’s no let’s snub this person or that person. It’s about. Let’s try and find excellence,” said Grammy Chief Harvey Mason Jr. in an interview with Variety on the fairness of the nomination process.
An important note is that the Grammys, which The Weeknd was scheduled to perform, is Jan. 31, one week apart from the Super Bowl, which he is also scheduled to perform the halftime show. Billboard reported from sources close to The Weeknd saying that his team was given an ultimatum between the Grammys and the Super Bowl.
The academy also revealed, “After Hours” was entered into the best progressive R&B album category, which is familiar territory to the Weeknd, winning two of his three record Grammys: “Beauty Behind the Madness” in 2016 and “Starboy” in 2018. As the selection process went on, it was moved to the best pop vocal album category, which was more congested with its number of entries.
Now, it’s in none of those categories.
Nominated for four Grammys, Justin Bieber had a similar problem. His R&B album “Changes” was put into the pop category. The singer took to social media to express his mixture of gratitude and confusion.
From the moving around of artist categories, which may have cost The Weeknd his nomination, to the confusing category name changes in the past couple of years, The Grammys are in hot water for the continual lack of clarity about their decisions. It’ll be an interesting ceremony regardless, but I can’t say there weren’t a couple of snubs, The Weeknd included.