By: Sean Youngberg
The Grammys have struck again, this time snubbing The Weeknd for reasons unbeknownst to fans, musicians and celebrities, alike.
“The Grammys remain corrupt,” The Weeknd tweeted following the release of this year’s Grammy nominations, “you owe me, my fans and the industry transparency.”
This tweet comes after The Grammys nominated The Weeknd for not a single award this year, which is quite shocking considering the wildly popular and successful album he released in March this year, titled After Hours. For starters, the album broke Apple Music’s record for most pre-adds in history, with 1.02 million users adding it to their libraries before the album was even released.
The album sold 440,000 copies in its first week out, a personal best for the Toronto native. During this first week, the albums songs were streamed a combined 220.7 million times, meaning that even if it hadn’t sold a single, physical copy that the album still would’ve been the number one album in the country.
To make this even more impressive, After Hours, the Weeknd’s fourth number one album in a row, had the best first week numbers of any album that’s come out in 2020. In addition, the album marks the biggest debut week of an R&B album in nearly four years, also marking the best streaming debut for an album in that genre ever.
The now-platinum certified album spent four consecutive weeks at number one, becoming the first album to spend an entire month at number one since Drake’s Scorpion in 2018. At one point following its release, all 14 tracks on the album were featured on the Billboard Hot 100.
Speaking of the tracks, have you ever heard “Blinding Lights?” Who am I kidding, of course you have. This song is one of the most successful records in the history of recorded music, just recently breaking the record for longest run in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, where it has now spent 40 weeks.
Just a few months prior to this new milestone, the song broke the record for most consecutive weeks in the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100, where it lasted 28 weeks. The record is currently 6 times platinum, selling 20 million units worldwide, making it the seventh biggest worldwide hit of all time.
The music video for “Blinding Lights” won the coveted Video of the Year award at the MTV Video Music Awards earlier this year, where he performed the hit record 1131 feet above New York City from a rooftop. In addition to this track, the song “Heartless” off After Hours also reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, receiving a platinum certification in the process.
Yet, after all these awards and accolades, The Weeknd, who was the favorite in Las Vegas to win song, record and album of the year, received a whopping zero nominations. Why? Good question.
You may have heard that The Weeknd will be performing at this year’s Super Bowl, which is a huge milestone for many artists. Well, TMZ reported shortly after the nominations were announced that The Weeknd was issued an ultimatum from the Grammys, forcing him to choose between performing at the Super Bowl or performing at the Grammys. According to TMZ, there is “growing suspicion” that The Weeknd’s decision may have cost him his nominations. Crazy, right?
The Weeknd seemed to offer up a response to these claims on Twitter, telling his followers “collaboratively planning a performance for weeks to not being invited? In my opinion zero nominations = you’re not invited!”
The snub naturally caught the attention of everyone across the industry, including the likes of Drake and even Elton John.
“In my humble opinion…… Blinding Lights [is] song of the year [and] record of the year,” Elton John proclaimed on Instagram under a picture of The Weeknd from his “Blinding Lights” video.
“I think we should stop allowing ourselves to be shocked every year by the disconnect between impactful music and these awards,” Drake said on Instagram following the snub, “it’s like a relative you keep expecting to fix up but they just can’t change their ways.”
For years, artists throughout the industry have been taking shots at the Grammy for their continued ignorance and the blatant gap between pop culture and their awards which they clearly refuse to bridge.
There is almost no explanation for The Weeknd not being nominated for a single award this year, and given the outcry from the artist, himself and others, this could very well be the snub that renders the Grammys illegitimate for years to come.