Called out! Bella Hadid, Drake and more celebrities are joining forces in support of The Weeknd, whose stellar album After Hours was snubbed by the 2021 Grammy nominations.
Nominees for the 63rd annual music awards show were announced on Tuesday, November 24, and artists like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift came away with a handful of well-deserved nods. The Weeknd, 30, was completely shut out of the nominations pool — despite having a chart-topping record and one of the most popular singles of the year, “Blinding Lights.” Following the shocking news, the Canada native (born Abel Tesfaye) was quick to respond.
“The Grammys remain corrupt,” he tweeted on Tuesday, calling out the Recording Academy and its long-running awards show. “You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency.”
The next day, The Weeknd doubled down on his criticism. “Collaboratively planning a performance for weeks to not being invited?” he wrote in a separate tweet. “In my opinion zero nominations = you’re not invited!”
Amid the drama, the Recording Academy issued a statement regarding the lack of recognition given to The Weeknd in this year’s round of nominees.
“We understand that The Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated. I was surprised and can empathize with what he’s feeling,” Harvey Mason Jr., chair and interim president/CEO of the academy, told Rolling Stone magazine. “His music this year was excellent, and his contributions to the music community and broader world are worthy of everyone’s admiration.”
It didn’t take long for fellow musicians to take The Weeknd’s side and show their support. On Wednesday, November 25, Drake posted a long statement to his Instagram Story — and even hinted that the Grammys might be out of touch.
“I think we should stop allowing ourselves to be shocked every year by the disconnect between impactful music and these awards and just accept that what once was the highest form of recognition may no longer matter to the artists that exist now and the ones that come after,” the 34-year-old “Toosie Slide” rapper wrote. “It’s like a relative you keep expecting to fix up but they just can’t change their ways.”
Drake admitted that he thought The Weeknd “was a lock” for a handful of honors, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year, and encouraged artists to look elsewhere for recognition. “This is a great time for somebody to start something new that we can build up over time and pass on to the generations to come,” he concluded.
Hadid, for her part, gave a subtle showing of support for her ex-boyfriend by “liking” Elton John‘s Instagram post regarding the nominations. The 24-year-old model dated The Weeknd on and off for four years before calling it quits in August 2019. Nine months after they split, a source told Us Weekly exclusively that the former couple “have been in touch recently.”
Scroll down to see more stars’ reactions to The Weeknd’s Grammys snub.
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