Recording Academy CEO Addresses The Weeknd’s 2021 Grammys Snub

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Harvey Mason Jr. revisited The Weeknd being left of the 2021 Grammy nomination list.

With the 64th Annual Grammy Awards approaching and the recent news that Drake withdrew his Certified Lover Boy entries from consideration, the buzz surrounding the 2022 award ceremony is growing. But where the 64th Annual Grammy Awards have yet to happen, fans still aren’t over the 63rd.

Back in November, 2020, The Weeknd was egregiously snubbed by The Recording Academy, after his critically-acclaimed After Hours (and none of its 14 songs including “Blinding Lights”) was not nominated in a single category. The “Escape From LA” singer called the Grammys corrupt, and demanded transparency from The Recording Academy. Recording Academy’s CEO Harvey Mason Jr. responded to The Weeknd in a statement released to Billboard, and despite acknowledging he was saddened by the singer’s accusations of corruption, Mason Jr. said he was personally surprised The Weeknd was not nominated.

Recently, Mason Jr. sat down with Billboard to discuss the snubbing, and said the subsequent outrage was understandable.

“It’s not distracting, it’s understandable. People that make music are passionate people inherently. These [projects] are their babies. When they get upset, it doesn’t affect us or offend us,” he told Billboard. “The perception of the academy and our process is important because it allows us to do the work that we want to do.”

Mason Jr. added that, although he would appreciate disappointed artists reaching out directly, all Grammy feedback is important and is taken into consideration by The Recording Academy.

“Having input from the community is important. Sometimes it might be nice not to hear it always in the press; maybe it’d be nice to get a phone call or a text,” he said. “But regardless of how we get it, it’s important that we evaluate it and find out actionable steps on how to be better. At the end of the day, when our members and our community say, “We’d like to look at something differently and we think there is a new way of doing this, it’s better,’ we listen, and we move.”

Rich Fury/Getty Images

While Mason Jr. said all of the right things in his interview with Billboard, it remains to be seen if The Grammys will ever carry the weight they once did. Since Macklemore‘s The Heist won Best Rap Album over Kendrick Lamar‘s good kid m.A.A.d. city in 2014, confidence in The Recording Academy has wavered, and with The Weeknd not receiving a single nomination in 2021, that confidence plummeted even further.

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