The Weeknd Says Goodbye to the Grammys With a Boycott; Beyoncé Could Make Triple History at the Ceremony

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Tonja Renée Stidhum
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The Weeknd performs during halftime of NFL Super Bowl 55, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021; Beyonce performs at the 59th annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 12, 2017.
The Weeknd performs during halftime of NFL Super Bowl 55, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021; Beyonce performs at the 59th annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 12, 2017.

“The biggest night in music” may come with some setbacks this year. In addition to having to reschedule the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony due to the global pandemic, there’s been some controversy about this year’s nominees—specifically, who isn’t among that esteemed list of musicians and artists.

Grammys 2021: Beyoncé Is Queen of Nominations; Trevor Noah to Host

Following the 2021 Grammys nomination announcement, The Weeknd took to social media to blast the Recording Academy, calling the elite organization “corrupt” after receiving zero nominations.

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On Thursday, The Weeknd went a step further—announcing that he would no longer participate in the Grammys process at all. Yes, a whole boycott.

“Because of the secret committees,” the Weeknd said in a statement to The New York Times. “I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.”

“We’re all disappointed when anyone is upset,” Recording Academy interim chief executive Harvey Mason Jr. stated in response to The Weeknd’s latest statement. “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.”

On the flip side, an artist that was nominated—the most-nominated of this year’s round with nine nods, in fact—Beyoncé could possibly make history in three different ways if she scoops up most of her categories.

More, from Newsweek:

If things really go her way, Beyoncé could become the woman with the most Grammys, the living musician with the most Grammys and the artist with the most Grammy wins of all time, period. Now, admittedly, it’d be tough for her to hit all of those milestones in one night, and even if she doesn’t pull it off this year, it’s very likely she could clear all of those bars at some point in her career. (Right now, the “Formation” singer has got 24 Grammys to her name.

Bey would secure the “woman with most Grammys” if she scores 4 wins on Sunday night, the “living musician with most Grammys” designation if she nabs five statuettes and will be named the person with “the most Grammys of all time” if she wins eight awards.

As NYT noted, Drake, Kanye West (who actually peed inside a Grammy statuette on camera) and Frank Ocean have joined The Weeknd in making public critiques against the Recording Academy for continuing to overlook Black artists. Hell, Bey has even reflected on being snubbed at the Grammys for her album Lemonade—an erasure which caused quite an uproar among fansand she’s good now.

The snubbing—on both an awards and membership level—from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globes has sparked an ongoing discussion about disengaging from awards culture, in general. The Grammys’ Recording Academy being a part of this conversation further supplements the fact that this issue isn’t siloed—it’s systemic.

Grammy Week is currently happening with its array of events leading up to the big night, including the annual Roots Jam Session (the band...not us, the snarky website) which goes down Saturday, March 13 at 6 p.m. PT / 9 p.m. ET.

The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards airs live Sunday, March 14 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS.