Why The Weeknd Is Boycotting The 2021 Grammys

12 March 2021, 11:14

The Weeknd is boycotting the 2021 Grammys
The Weeknd is boycotting the 2021 Grammys. Picture: Getty

By Kathryn Knight

The Weeknd will no longer submit his music to the Grammys, after being snubbed by the Academy this year.

The Weeknd is among a string of artists boycotting this year’s Grammys after the nominations were unveiled, with Justin Bieber also refusing to attend the event despite his album ‘Changes’ being nominated for four awards – three in the pop category.

But for The Weeknd, real name Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, his fallout with the Academy is down to the fact he didn’t receive any nominations despite having one of the biggest selling albums of 2020 and breaking records with his single ’Blinding Lights’, which stayed in the top 10 for a whole year.

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So, from now on he is refusing for his label to submit any more of his music to the Grammys.

Here’s what’s going on with The Weeknd and The Grammys, and why he’s chosen to boycott future ceremonies…

The Weeknd had been planning a performance at the Grammys before his nominations snub
The Weeknd had been planning a performance at the Grammys before his nominations snub. Picture: Getty

Why is The Weeknd boycotting the Grammys?

The Weeknd is boycotting the Grammys after he didn’t receive any nominations for his hugely successful album, ‘After Hours’.

‘After Hours’, released in March 2020, was met with critical acclaim and its lead single ‘Blinding Lights’ stayed in the top 10 for 52 weeks, making history as the first ever song to do so.

In November when the Grammy nominations were announced he took to Twitter to claim: “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency.”

The Weeknd has won three Grammys in the past
The Weeknd has won three Grammys in the past. Picture: Getty

He also revealed he’d been planning a performance at the ceremony but cancelled it after the snub.

And in a statement to The New York Times ahead of the event, he said: “Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.”

Abel was inundated with support from fellow artists, including Drake, Elton John, Kid Cudi, Nicki Minaj and Akon.

Zayn Malik also slammed the Grammys days before the event, claiming on Twitter: "Unless you shake hands and send gifts, there’s no nomination considerations."

Has The Weeknd won any Grammys before?

Despite skipping the 2021 event, The Weeknd has actually won a few Grammys in the past:

  • Urban Contemporary Album in 2018 for ‘Starboy’.
  • Urban Contemporary Album in 2016 for ‘Beauty Behind the Madness’.
  • R&B Performance in 2016 for ‘Earned It’.

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