The Weeknd confirms it will boycott the Grammy Awards

New York (CNN Business) – It’s official: The Weeknd will boycott the Grammys, the singer told The New York Times.

The pop star said he will no longer be performing songs for the music industry’s most prestigious annual awards show after he was not nominated for any accolades for his hit single “Blinding Lights,” which has spent 52 weeks at the top. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The news comes as the organization behind the Grammys faces scrutiny over its secret voting system and alleged biases against black artists and women. The 63rd edition of the annual event will air this Sunday.

CNN has contacted The Weeknd for comment.

The singer has particularly objected to the lack of transparency in the voting process for the most coveted awards. Nominations are made by members of the Recording Academy, a non-profit organization based in Santa Monica, California, whose membership is comprised of artists, producers, and industry executives and other members.

But since 1995, the most coveted Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year, have been chosen by a secret committee of academy members, according to Billboard.

The Weeknd

The committee process was originally put in place to ensure final nominations were more progressive and “musically adventurous,” Billboard reported. But the process has come under fire in recent years in response to black artists like The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar being repeatedly snubbed in the so-called “Big Four” categories of the Grammys.

Only four black artists have won top Grammys in the past nine years. The last black artist to win the Album of the Year award was pianist Herbie Hancock in 2008.

A study by USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative released Tuesday found that black artists made up about 38% of all artists on the Billboard Hot 100 from 2012 to 2020, but only received about 27% of the top Grammy nominations. during that time. And only 24% of this year’s top Grammy nominees are black.

It includes Beyoncé, who this year has been nominated for nine Grammy Awards, including Recording of the Year for “Savage,” along with rapper Megan Thee Stallion, and Song of the Year for “Black Parade,” her charter. sonorous love to the African diaspora.

When asked by The New York Times why he was boycotting, The Weeknd said, “Because of the secret committees.”

“Blinding Lights” is one of five Billboard No. 1 songs that has not received a Grammy nomination in the past 30 years, according to the Associated Press. The album on which the song appears, “After Hours,” was also snubbed.

The Toronto-born pop star, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, is not the only artist to criticize the most prestigious awards show in the music industry ahead of its 63rd annual broadcast this Sunday.

British singer-songwriter Zayn Malik tweeted an expletive-filled disapproval against the Grammys, accusing the show of having favorites after the refusal to nominate him for “Nobody Is Listening,” his third studio album.

“Fuck the Grammys and all their associates,” Malik wrote. “Unless you shake hands and send gifts, there are no nomination considerations. Next year I will send them a basket of candy.”

Malik said his tweet was not personal, but “it was about the need for inclusion and the lack of transparency of the nomination process and the space it creates and that allows favoritism, racism and network politics to influence the voting process “.

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The Weeknd confirms it will boycott the Grammy Awards

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