Grammys rigged

Lauren Runde

When celebrities do not get the recognition they deserve, it does not always end well. 

The Grammys is an annual award show presented by the Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. The Grammys faced lots of backlash recently surrounding the artist nominations for the 2021 ceremony. On Tuesday, November 24, when the list of nominees for the 2021 ceremony rolled out, many people were upset that popular artist The Weeknd was nowhere to be seen. The Weeknd will be performing for the Super Bowl LV halftime show, has an album, After Hours, that was at the top of the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and also has a hit single,“Blinding Lights,” which had hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Many had a lot to say about this, including The Weeknd himself. 

“The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency,” The Weeknd said. 

The Weeknd was the bridge for many other artists upset with the Recording Academy’s nomination choices to speak their minds. Nicki Minaj has been nominated ten times since 2011 and spoke out about not winning the Grammy for Best New Artist in 2011 to Bon Iver. Another artist, Teyana Taylor, who has never been nominated, expressed her thoughts about the lack of female representation in the Best R&B Album Category. Even well known artist Justin Bieber was nominated four times for the 2021 Grammys and was upset that his nominations, more specifically for his album Changes, were for the Pop categories. 

“I am very meticulous and intentional about my music . . . Changes was and is an R&B album. It is not acknowledged as an R&B album which is very strange to me . . . For this not to be put into that category feels weird considering from the chords to the melodies to the vocal style all the way down to the hip hop drums that were chosen it is undeniably, unmistakably an R&B Album,” Bieber said. 

Xavier junior Claire McAllister has been listening to Bieber since one of his first albums came out and agreed with his post. 

“I have listened to Justin Bieber’s Changes album and would absolutely agree that it is an R&B album and I think that he deserves proper recognition for his work,” McAllister said.

The Recording Academy has not responded to each complaint against them, but CEO Harvey Mason Jr. released a statement about The Weeknd’s situation saying that he and The Recording Academy understand The Weeknd’s frustration about not being nominated. Harvey’s statements did little to cure The Weeknd’s frustration. Harvey explained that a committee of 20 music professionals make the decisions for who decide the nominees for the ceremony.

“The people in that room care: there’s no agendas in there, there’s no let’s snub this person or that person. It’s about, “Let’s try and find excellence,’” Harvey said.

There were some well known artists left out of the nominations, but there were also several well deserving artists that were nominated. Billie Eilish, who won a total of five Grammys in 2020, is the youngest female to have a number one on the U.K. charts and has a collection of many other awards, all while only being 18. Eilish has been nominated for four awards in 2021. Harry Styles is also among the many well known and accomplished artists, with many hits this year on the charts to be nominated for awards.

Xavier junior Eden Campbell had something to say about the controversy. Campbell mentioned that she believes some artists got the recognition they deserved, meanwhile some did not. She also mentioned that The Recording Academy should learn from the controversy and make better choices in the future when it comes to nominees.

Artist Drake also had something to say about the controversy.

“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. It’s like a relative you keep expecting to fix up but they just can’t change their ways,” Drake said.

          A statistic by Statista showed that, over the last few years, the number of viewers that tuned in to watch the Grammys has decreased gradually by about one to two million each year, and with the recent controversy, the number of viewers may plummet again. The 2021 Grammys are January 31 on CBS.