‘Blinding Lights’ star The Weeknd was among many of the year’s top acts unseen on the 2021 GRAMMY nominations list revealed early Tuesday (November 24) – a predicament that’s led a number of artists to demand transparency about the protocol of the Recording Academy’s voting process.
While stars like Justin Bieber complained about their musical genres being misrepresented by the committee, others wondered how their critically acclaimed pieces went unmentioned all together (as we reported here).
Moments after GRAMMY chief Harvey Mason Jr. took to press to hit back at the criticism, The Weeknd (born Abel Tesfaye) broke his silence about the surprising snub of his blockbuster album – ‘After Hours.’
As fans – including fellow artists – bombarded the GRAMMY social media handles seeking an explanation about why ‘After Hours’ (and its hit content such as ‘Lights,’ ‘Heartless,’ ‘In Your Eyes,‘ and more) failed to garner mention on the 2021 GRAMMY nods list, Tesfaye echoed their sentiment.
Ahead of his post, however, Mason Jr. attempted to provide some of that “transparency” by taking to the press.
There, once quizzed on why Abel was omitted from the GRAMMY nods, he said:
“It really just comes down to the voting body that decides,” he said. “We have eight nomination slots to fill in [the ‘Big Four’ categories: Best Album, Song, Record and New Artist], five in others, and the voters vote for their favorites. It’s really interesting, though.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Harvey assured readers the voting committee’s process is unbiased.
“All the records get the fairest of fair shakes. We listen to all the music — even an album, you’re listening to almost the whole album, it takes I don’t know how many hours,” he said. “It’s a long, arduous process and people take pride in it. The people in that room care: there’s no agendas in there, there’s no ‘let’s snub this person’ or that person. It’s about, ‘Let’s try and find excellence.’”
However, when asked if ‘After Hours’ was even short-listed, the Recording Academy chief refused to offer details.
“We never talk about what’s on the shortlist, so I’ll leave it at that,” he said.