Grammys 2021: The Weeknd to Justin Bieber and Halsey, here's why top artists snubbed the award show in protest

Grammys 2021: The Weeknd to Justin Bieber and Halsey, here's why top artists snubbed the award show in protest
The Weeknd, Halsey and Justin Bieber (Getty Images)

The coming weekend is surely going to be memorable as Grammy Awards with their 63rd edition are set to air on Sunday, March 14. The renowned award ceremony has been making headlines for both right and wrong reasons. Fans might be elated to see the performances of top global artists like BTS, Harry Styles, Cardi B, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny, Taylor Swift, Megan Thee Stallion, Billie Eilish, Doja Cat and others but the Recording Academy is also under fire for snubbing major artists in their nominations.

Starting November 2020, a few of the top musicians lashed out at the Grammys for ignoring them despite being one of the top projects of 2020. The Weeknd was one of the first artists to slam the prestigious institution and he even got support from hip-hop icon Drake. The Weeknd recently revealed that he will not be submitting his music to Grammys anymore. We are listing the artists who are giving Grammys 2021 a major snub as a sign of protest.


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The Weeknd 

The Weeknd performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show at Raymond James Stadium on February 7, 2021, in Tampa, Florida. (Getty Images)

R&B crooner The Weeknd has proven to be the torchbearer of the protest against the Grammys for giving him a major snub. The Recording Academy did not nominate the singer in even one category despite his album ‘After Hours’ proved to be one of the biggest albums of 2020. The 31-year-old singer-songwriter recently expressed his intentions to boycott Grammys and told the New York Times, “Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.”

He had earlier labeled Grammys as corrupt in his tweet when the nominations were freshly announced. “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency...” For the unversed, the last Black artist who bagged Album of The Year was way back in 2008 with Herbie Hancock.

Justin Bieber 

Justin Bieber appears onstage at MTV’s “Fresh Out Live” on February 07, 2020 in New York City. (Getty Images)

Apart from The Weeknd, Justin Bieber is another top artist who is reportedly planning to snub the award ceremony, as reported by Page Six. The ‘Holy’ hitmaker was disappointed with the fact he did not get a nod in the R&B category as he identifies himself as an R&B singer and not a pop singer. Despite scoring four nominations at Grammys 2021, the 27-year-old had shared a note on Instagram earlier regarding the same. “I am flattered to be acknowledged and appreciated for my artistry. I am very meticulous and intentional about my music. With that being said, I set out to make an R&B album. ‘Changes’ was and is an R&B album. It is not being acknowledged as an R&B album, which is very strange to me.”

He added, “For this not to be put into that category feels weird, considering from the chords to the melodies to the vocal style, all the way down to the hip-hop drums that were chosen, it is undeniably, unmistakably an R&B album!” Bieber is up for Best Pop Solo Performance for ‘Yummy’, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for ‘Intentions’ featuring Quavo, Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Country Duo/Group Performance for his feature on Dan + Shay’s song ‘10,000 Hours.’ 


Zayn Malik 

Recording artist Zayn Malik attends the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018, in New York City. (Getty Images)

Former One Direction member Zayn Malik is another artist who lashed out at the Grammys for being biased. The ‘Pillow Talk ‘hitmaker expressed his frustration via a tweet where he said, “F*** the Grammys and everyone associated. Unless you shake hands and send gifts, there’s no nomination considerations. Next year I’ll send you a basket of confectionary.” He soon explained his controversial tweet with another post where he stated, “My tweet was not personal or about eligibility but was about the need for inclusion and the lack of transparency of the nomination process and the space that creates and allows favouritism, racism, and netwokring [sic] politics to influence the voting process.

Zayn Malik had released his third studio effort titled, ‘Nobody Is Listening’, in January 2021 but the process of the 2021 Grammys ended in August 2020. He had also released a single from the album called ‘Better’ in September and even was not eligible for Grammys 2021. Malik is yet to receive a Grammy nomination. However, his and Taylor Swift's collaboration on ‘I Don't Wanna Live Forever’ from the film ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ did earn a 2018 Grammy nomination for best song written for visual media, but the nomination went to songwriters Swift, Jack Antonoff and Sam Dew.




Halsey attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019, in New York City. (Getty Images)

Singer-songwriter Halsey was another artist who did not shy away from slamming the Recording Academy. She accused the Grammys of allegedly selecting nominees based on “behind-the-scenes private performances”, nepotism, and “bribes”.  In a post shared by Stererogum’s Instagram account, Halsey had then posted in her stories, “I’ve been thinking and wanted to choose my words carefully because a lot of people have extended sympathy and apology to me since the Grammy nominations.”

The ‘Without You’ hitmaker added, “The Grammys are an elusive process. It can often be about behind-the-scenes private performances, knowing the right people, campaigning through the grapevine, with the right handshakes and ‘bribes’ that can be just ambiguous enough to pass as ‘not-bribes.’ And if you get that far, it’s about committing to exclusive TV performances and making sure you help the Academy make their millions in advertising on the night of the show. Perhaps sometimes it is (!!) but it’s not always about the music or quality or culture,” continued Halsey. “Just wanted to get that off my chest. @theweeknd deserves better, and Manic did too. Perhaps it’s unbecoming of me to say so but I don’t care anymore. While I am THRILLED for my talented friends who were recognised this year, I am hoping for more transparency or reform.” Halsey concluded, “But I’m sure this post will blacklist me anyway.” 


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