The Recording Academy Responds To Rumors The Grammys Snubbed The Weeknd Over Super Bowl Performance

Harvey Mason Jr. discusses the internet-breaking nomination controversy.

“The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency,” tweeted The Weeknd on Tuesday evening. The “Blinding Lights” hitmaker was reacting to the fact that he was completely shut out of nominations for the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards.

Many of The Weeknd’s fans were also agitated that the R&B/Pop superstar did not earn any nods from The Recording Academy. That particular snub became one of the most talked-about cold shoulders of the 2020 nomination announcements. It even led to rumors that The Weeknd was purposely ignored by the Grammys over his headlining gig for the Super Bowl LV halftime show.

The Recording Academy interim President/Chief Executive Officer Harvey Mason Jr. was interviewed by Billboard. Mason was directly asked if his organization retaliated against The Weeknd because the Canadian vocalist wanted to perform at the Grammys ceremony and at Super Bowl LV which was allegedly discouraged by the Academy.

“No. First of all, the Super Bowl performance is [one week] after our show, so at no time would we be upset if he were to perform on the Super Bowl,” said Mason. “Our show producer, Ben Winston, and CBS had some preliminary conversations. We would have loved to have him on our stage. I think he was working toward that happening.”

Mason added, “The Weeknd has always been someone that the Academy has respected. I think a decision of that magnitude as far as the show would be made by Ben Winston. We’ve had him on the show [twice] in the past, and he’s always done incredible performances for us.”

In addition, Mason stated voting in all Grammy categories ended before The Weeknd’s performance at the Super Bowl was announced earlier this month. He insisted that the SBLV halftime show did not affect the Grammy nominations. Clearly, The Weeknd feels the Grammy nominating process is tainted in some way, evidenced by him accusing the Academy of being “corrupt.”

Mason responded to that “corrupt” allegation by saying, “It saddened me. I try to empathize with where that came from, but it was difficult to hear. I can understand he’s disappointed [at being shut out]. Everybody at the academy understands that he’s disappointed. I was personally surprised that he was not nominated.”

Many industry prognosticators predicted The Weeknd would be one of the most nominated acts for the 63rd Annual Grammys which are scheduled to air January 31 on CBS. “Blinding Lights” – which just set the record for the longest run in the Top 10 of Billboard‘s Hot 100’s – was a favorite to pick up Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year nods. The record-breaking After Hours was expected to garner an Album Of The Year nomination.

“Blinding Lights” is currently the #7 song in America in its 51st week on the Hot 100 chart. After Hours also hosts the former #1 single “Heartless” as well as the Top 20 hits “In Your Eyes” and “After Hours.” The Weeknd also found success with “Smile” – a collaborative track by the 30-year-old XO label frontman and the late Juice WRLD.

After Hours received an 80/100 rating on Metacritic. According to HitsDailyDouble, The Weeknd’s fourth studio LP (1,891,000 units) is the third best-selling project of 2020 behind Lil Baby’s My Turn (2,443,000 units) and Pop Smoke’s Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon (1,913,000 units). Neither My Turn nor Shoot for the Stars were listed in the Album Of The Year category either.