The Grammys remain corrupt

With upcoming Grammy performances, many music artists announce their issues with the ‘corrupt’ system


Image obtained from Creative Commons

Top of the Top–Abel Tesfaye, also known as The Weeknd, performs “Blinding Lights” from his My Dear Melancholy album in 2018. After the performance, “Blinding Lights” remained within the top 10 songs on the Billboard charts for over a year, becoming the biggest Billboard Hot 100 chart hit of the century. (Image obtained via Nicolas Padovani under a Creative Commons license)

Makda Bekele

When Grammy nominations were announced near the end of 2020, popular hit singer The Weeknd, also known as Abel Tesfaye, called out the Recording Academy for what he called their biased, corrupt and deceitful nomination process after not receiving a single nomination. With his latest album After Hours being one of the best-selling albums of 2020, he had been planning a Grammy performance before the nominations were announced..

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

And as many popular artists agreed with Tesfaye, such as Sir Elton John and Kid Cudi, the Recording Academy argued that Tesfaye’s lack of nominations were not in any way correlated with the performance.

“We understand that The Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated. I was surprised and can empathize with what he’s feeling,” Interim President of the Recording Academy Harvey Mason Jr. told The Hollywood Reporter. “Unfortunately, every year, there are fewer nominations than the number of deserving artists.

Tesfaye and major pop stars aren’t the only one who have had an issue with the way the Recording Academy operates. Many music fans online, from Twitter to TikTok, spoke out about their disappointment with the Academy.

“Where should I start…Somehow Niki Minaj doesn’t have any Grammys. Ariana Grande had NO WINS for ‘Thank You Next.’ Cardi B won Rap Album of The Year over Travis Scott’s ‘Astroworld’,” Twitter user @therjpoweel said. “And of course, The Weeknd didn’t receive any Grammy nominations this year even though ‘Blinding Lights’ is still top 10 on the Billboard charts.”

A lack of nominations isn’t the only issue artists have with the system. Justin Bieber, after receiving 3 pop nominees, claimed that their categorization of his work was inaccurate.

“[The album Changes] was and is an R&B album,” Bieber said. “It is not being acknowledged as an R&B album, which is very strange to me.”

And while the reasoning behind the ‘corruption’ is being heavily debated, many agree that it originates from racial bias. Rapper Diddy claimed that “black music has never been respected by the Grammys.” And Tyler the creator went a step further, arguing that the Academy’s rap and urban categories were designated for black artists.

But even with the intense backlash, many McLean students will be paying attention to the 2021 awards.

“I do think there are a lot of issues with the Grammys,” sophomore Becca Sullivan said. “But I still think I’ll probably enjoy the performances, with or without my favorites.”