2021 Grammy nominations leads to accusations of corruption

With the 2021 Grammy Awards nominations being released, much controversy arose from the legitimacy of what was being nominated. Many nominations over the years have been justified. Sometimes, though, the Grammys have had questionable judgment. One snub this year has stood out above all the rest, though. The Weeknd and his project, “After Hours,” received no Grammy nominations at all despite it being eligible and one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year. 

Abel Tesfaye, who has the stage name of “the Weeknd,” made his first studio album in 2011. Ever since, he has been making large additions to the mainstream music scene with hits like “Starboy” and “The Hills.” This year, his hit song “Blinding Lights” was eligible to be nominated for the 2021 Grammy Awards. It has spent over 40 weeks in the Billboard Top 10 songs. That is the longest time for a song to stay in the Top 10 ever. It also has spent four weeks at number one on the charts. However, this record was not nominated for a single grammy. Being out for over a year, Blinding Lights has had the longevity and awards to be justified for a Grammy nomination at least. 

Tesfaye’s 2020 album, “After Hours,” was also not given a nomination despite it being one of the most popular albums of the year. Beyond two singles off the album hitting number one spot, “Heartless” and “Blinding Lights,” the album contained other hits like “In Your Eyes” and “Save Your Tears.” The argument for Album of the Year is clearly there. The justification for a nomination for being nominated in its genre at least is almost obvious. No album nominated for Best R&B album contained a Billboard topping song. The quality of the album was up to standards for nominations and the units sold were beyond enough to get noticed by the Grammys as well. So why was the Weeknd denied any nomination? Tesfaye responded to being snubbed of a nomination by a statement on Instagram.  

“The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency,” Tesfaye stated. 

The accusation of corruption did not come out of nowhere, though. 

“Collaboratively planning a performance for weeks to not being invited?” Tesfaye stated. “In my opinion zero nominations equals you’re not invited.” 

The Weeknd’s clear bitterness toward the Grammys has raised the question of corruption all around. Drake and many other musicians are siding with the Weeknd on this as they see something is going on with the nomination process that is corrupt. Though the Grammys are considered a high honor in the music world still, their validation is seemingly fading more and more as the years go by with what is displayed to the public as corruption being a huge factor when nominating artists for awards.