Despite releasing one of 2020’s most successful albums, The Weeknd found himself completely shut out at the Grammys this year. After he called out the Recording Academy on social media, rumors swirled about the reason for his snub. In a new interview with Billboard, Abel’s team discussed their view on why he wasn’t nominated for After Hours and the singer revealed his emotional reaction to the news.
“I use a sucker punch as an analogy,” The Weeknd said. “Because it just kind of hit me out of nowhere. I definitely felt… I felt things. I don’t know if it was sadness or anger. I think it was just confusion. I just wanted answers. Like, ‘What happened?’ We did everything right, I think. I’m not a cocky person. I’m not arrogant. People told me I was going to get nominated. The world told me. Like, ‘This is it; this is your year.’ We were all very confused.”
He believes the Grammys' issues go far beyond him.
“If you were like, ‘Do you think the Grammys are racist?’ I think the only real answer is that in the last 61 years of the Grammys, only 10 Black artists have won album of the year,” he said. “I don’t want to make this about me. That’s just a fact.”
His manager, Wassim “Sal” Slaiby, decried the Recording Academy’s many behind-the-scenes committees, including ones that screen for genre and review votes to create the final ballot in the four General Field categories.
“What is that secret committee? What the f-ck?” Slaiby said. "Cancel the f-cking secret committee and become full transparency. It’s a powerful, special award, but the leadership there has got to go. They’re weak.” He did, however, dispel previous claims that the Grammys shut The Weeknd out due to his upcoming performance at the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
The Weeknd finished off by saying that he’s mostly moved on, although he remains disappointed.
“Look, I personally don’t care anymore,” he said. “I have three Grammys, which mean nothing to me now, obviously. It’s not like, ‘Oh, I want the Grammy!’ It’s just that this happened, and I’m down to get in front of the fire, as long as it never happens again. I suck at giving speeches anyways. Forget awards shows.”
Read The Weeknd’s full Billboardundefinedundefined interview here.