Christian Bertrand /

The US Recording Academy announced the nominations for the next Grammy awards yesterday, and there’s an almighty storm blowing up around their snub for The Weeknd. And by snub, we mean all-caps SNUB, because he didn’t get a single nomination – despite his ‘After Hours’ album being a pre-announcement favourite for several of the most prominent categories.

Is he happy about this? He is not. “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency,” tweeted The Weeknd after the nominations were announced. Meanwhile, US trade media are already pointing to reportedly-fraught negotiations in recent weeks over whether he would perform at the 2021 Grammys as well as at the Super Bowl half-time show a week later.

“To be clear, voting in all categories ended well before The Weeknd’s performance at the Super Bowl was announced, so in no way could it have affected the nomination process,” is the statement from Recording Academy chair Harvey Mason Jr in response to that.

The row rumbles on, though, with other artists offering their views. Nicki Minaj, for example: “Never forget the Grammys didn’t give me my best new artist award 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.”

This promises to be a difficult few days for the Academy, and that’s before we get into some of the other unrest bubbling out there: for example around Run The Jewels’ ‘RTJ4’ album – “(insert impressively classy and gracious but still recognizing of complete snub tweet here)” tweeted El-P from that group.

Meanwhile, country star Luke Combs matched The Weeknd in receiving no nominations whatsoever, also contrary to expectations. Against this backdrop, Justin Bieber might want to read the room and pipe down with his complaints about being nominated in the pop category rather than R&B…

Image by Christian Bertrand /

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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