Zayn Malik made it clear he has a bone to pick with the Recording Academy, accusing the Grammy Awards of payola.
On Tuesday, the pop star tweeted, “Fuck the grammys and everyone associated. Unless you shake hands and send gifts, there’s no nomination considerations. Next year I’ll send you a basket of confectionary.” This strong response comes just ahead of Sunday’s award ceremony and roughly three months after the 2021 Grammy nominations were announced. Malik’s complaint particularly surprised fans as his latest album, Nobody Is Listening, wasn’t even up for consideration to be nominated this year as it was released in January, five months after the eligibility window closed.
The former One Directioner returned to social media a few hours later to clarify that his statement wasn’t about his album specifically being overlooked, but rather his issue with the Grammys as a whole and how it treats artists. “My tweet was not personal or about eligibility but was about the need for inclusion and the lack of transparency of the nomination process and the space that creates and allows favoritism, racism and netwokring [sic] politics to influence the voting process,” he explained.
Malik also certainly isn’t the only musician who issued a pointed critique of the award show this year as The Weeknd, Drake, and Halsey have also previously spoken out about the unfairness of the nomination process. In an interview with Billboard in January, The Weeknd explained that this year’s Grammy nominations “kind of hit me out of nowhere … I felt things. I don’t know if it was sadness or anger. I think it was just confusion. I just wanted answers.” He added, “We did everything right, I think. I’m not a cocky person. I’m not arrogant. People told me I was going to get nominated. The world told me. Like, ‘This is it, this is your year.’ We were all very confused. I have three Grammys, which mean nothing to me now, obviously.” This week, the pop star’s 2020 hit “Blinding Lights” became the first song to spend a full year in Billboard’s Top 10.
“We understand that The Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated,” Harvey Mason Jr., Recording Academy Chair and Interim President/CEO replied in a statement to People. “Unfortunately, every year, there are fewer nominations than the number of deserving artists. But as the only peer-voted music award, we will continue to recognize and celebrate excellence in music while shining a light on the many amazing artists that make up our global community.”
A representative for the Recording Academy was not immediately available for comment.
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