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Halsey is the latest in a list of A-list artists — including Drake, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj — to take aim at the Recording Academy, days after the 26-year-old singer, and her album ‘Manic’, were snubbed from the list of 63rd Grammy Award nominations.
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“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’,” said Halsey in an explosive statement shared via her Instagram Story. “[The Weeknd] deserves better, and Manic did too, perhaps it’s unbecoming of me to say so but I can’t care anymore.”
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The Weeknd, also known as Abel Tesfaye, was also snubbed this year, despite his album ‘After Hours’ (2020) receiving widespread critical acclaim, and the first two singles, ‘Heartless’ and ‘Blinding Lights’, topping the Billboard 100. He also claimed he had been uninvited from the 2021 ceremony. “Collaboratively planning a performance for weeks to not being invited? In my opinion zero nominations = you’re not invited!” wrote Tesfaye on Instagram, adding on Twitter: “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…”
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Elton John was quick to get in Tesfaye’s corner via an Instagram caption. “In my humble opinion,” wrote John, “Blinding Lights Song of the Year, Record of the Year @theweeknd #GrammySnub”
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Tesfaye’s fellow Canadian artist Drake also came to his defence and questioned the importance of the Grammys to today’s generation. “I think we should stop allowing ourselves to be shocked every year by the disconnect between impactful music and these awards,” wrote Drake. He assumed The Weeknd would be “a lock for either album or song of the year along with countless other reasonable assumptions and it just never goes that way.”
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Nicki Minaj, who has been nominated for a Grammy Award 10 times throughout her career, but has never won, also called out the Recording Academy on Twitter. “Never forget the Grammys didn’t give me my best new artist award [in 2012] when I had 7 songs simultaneously charting on billboard & bigger first week than any female rapper in the last decade- went on to inspire a generation. They gave it to the white man Bon Iver,” she wrote.
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Meanwhile, Justin Bieber took issue with the fact that his three nominations came under the pop genre, when he considers his latest album, ‘Changes’, to be an R’n’B record. “‘Changes’ was and is an R&B album. It is not being acknowledged as an R&B Album which is very strange to me,” wrote Bieber, though his statement received mixed reactions from social media users.
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Kanye West took the most aggressive aim at the Grammys back in September, posting a video of himself urinating on his Grammy Award inside of a toilet.
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This isn’t the first time the Grammy’s come under fire. Just last year, Ariana Grande called out the Recording Academy, directing a series of tweets at Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich. “i’ve kept my mouth shut but now you’re lying about me. i can pull together a performance over night and you know that, Ken. it was when my creativity & self expression was stifled by you, that i decided not to attend,” she wrote. “i offered 3 different songs. it’s about collaboration. it’s about feeling supported. it’s about art and honesty. not politics. not doing favors or playing games. it’s just a game y’all.. and i’m sorry but that’s not what music is to me.”
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The 63rd Grammy Awards are set to take place on January 31, 2021.
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