A year doesn’t go by without The Grammys attracting some controversy, however, this year saw some notable snubs as acclaimed R&B performer The Weeknd, who landed a plethora of critical and commercial success thanks to his hit album After Hours and single “Blinding Lights,” failed to garner any nominations this year. It was also notable as the performer is scheduled to headline next year’s Super Bowl.
The Weeknd, aka Abel Tesafaye isn’t a stranger to the awards either, his 2018 record Starboy, won the Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album in 2018. He’s also been nominated for 10 Grammys throughout his career, winning a total of three awards. Tesfaye criticized the Grammy organization on Twitter, calling them “corrupt.”
The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) November 25, 2020
The Weeknd’s criticism of The Grammys’ echoes some of the statements made by former Grammy CEO Deborah Dugan back in January. Dugan made allegations that The Grammys engaged in vote-fixing, a claim that The Recording Academy has vehemently denied.
Legendary folk musician Bob Dylan also walked away without any nominations for his first original album in eight years, Rough and Rowdy Ways. This album was accompanied by the single “Murder Most Foul,” his first number one hit on any Billboard Chart. Both the single and the album received positive reviews.
Dylan has won a total of 10 Grammys throughout his career since the 1960s, and received 38 nominations. His most recent win was the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for Triplicate.
Other prominent snubs include Mac Miller and Juice WRLD’s posthumous records Circles and Legends Never Die, respectively, which were both greeted with critical acclaim and commercial success. Miller’s 2018 record Swimming, which was released just a month before his death, was posthumously nominated for Best Rap Album in 2019.
Kaytranada’s nomination as Best New Artist is also confounding, considering how his debut album 99.9% was released on the prominent record label XL Recordings in 2016. The record wasn’t exactly unknown either, it won Canada’s prestigious Polaris Prize (the producer is Haitian-Canadian) that year and made it to the number 2 spot on the US Top Dance/Electronic Albums .
Although Doja Cat was expected to receive a nomination in the Best New Artist category, her selection is also curious, as her debut album Amala came out in 2018 via RCA Records, a major label. This record also contained her viral hit “Mooo!,” which was arguably her largest song prior to the release of “Say So.”
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat