- 12 Mar 21
The 63rd Grammys will take place in Los Angeles this Sunday, with performances from Harry Styles, Dua Lipa, Taylor Swift, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion.
The 31-year-old, real name Abel Tesfaye, failed to be shortlisted for a single award, despite releasing the biggest-seller in the world last year - 'Blinding Lights'. His album After Hours was also a huge commercial and critical success, spawning numerous chart hits.
Tesfaye later called the lack of recognition of his work "an attack".
"I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys," The Weeknd said in a new statement ahead of this Sunday's ceremony.
The artist affirmed that he would prefer to remain absent from the event until the Recording Academy, which organises the awards, got rid of the "secret committees" that decide many of the nominations.
The Grammys voting procedures have a notoriously lack of transparency, with review committees having the final say in 72 of the 83 categories.
Anonymous panels, which can include musicians, record label staff and experts, review the initial choices of the Grammy voters and have the final say over who makes the shortlist.
Organisers say they are important to ensuring the awards are balanced, but many artists are have raised doubts and concerns regarding a procedure that allows votes to be overruled.
Former One Direction star Zayn Malik criticised the Recording Academy's current system of nominations, saying it "allows favouritism, racism, and networking politics to influence the voting".
Drake declined to submit his 2018 album More Life for Grammys consideration, while Frank Ocean chose not to participate in 2017.
"I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated," he said.
"I'd rather this be my Colin Kaepernick moment for the Grammys than sit there in the audience."
In response to the Weeknd's decision, the Recording Academy's acting chief executive Harvey Mason Jr. said the organisation was "constantly changing".
Speaking to the New York Times, Mason Jr. said:
"We're all disappointed when anyone is upset. But I will say that we are constantly evolving. And this year, as in past years, we are going to take a hard look at how to improve our awards process, including the nomination review committees."
If she wins, Swift will become the first woman to scoop the best album prize three times. Swift would follow in the footsteps of music legends Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder if she succeeded.
- Film & TV
- 20 May 22