IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Musicians call out Grammys as The Weeknd boycotts awards ceremony

Chart-topping artists allege the ceremony lacks transparency with voting and diversity among nominees.
Image: The Weeknd performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show at Raymond James Stadium on Feb. 7, 2021 in Tampa, Fla.
The Weeknd performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show at Raymond James Stadium on Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Florida.Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images file

The Grammy Awards, set to air Sunday on CBS, is widely known as "music's biggest night."

Some chart-topping artists, however, are calling out The Recording Academy, the organization behind the Grammys, for what they say is a lack of transparency with voting and diversity among nominees.

One singer, The Weeknd, said he is boycotting the annual awards ceremony from now on after his latest album and chart-topping single, "Blinding Lights," were snubbed.

The Recording Academy chooses the nominations for the ceremony. But since 1995, the final nominations in the "Big Four" categories — album of the year, song of the year, record of the year and best new artist — have been decided by a select committee, according to Billboard.

The outlet wrote in a 2020 article that the committee was created so the final nominations in those categories were "more progressive" and "more musically adventurous."

Multiple artists have taken issue with the process.

Zayn Malik posted an expletive-filled tweet on Tuesday slamming the ceremony.

"F--- 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," he wrote.

"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 networking politics to influence the voting process," he added.

Rapper Nicki Minaj tweeted on Nov. 24 — the day the nominations were announced — that she was snubbed for 2012's best new artist.

"Never forget the Grammys didn’t give me my best new artist award when I had 7 songs simultaneously charting on billboard & bigger first week than any female rapper in the last decade- went on to inspire a generation," she wrote. "They gave it to the white man Bon Iver."

That same day, Teyana Taylor called out the awards show for having an all-male list. "Y’all was better off just saying best MALE R&B ALBUM cause all I see is d--- in this category," she wrote.

Taylor, who released her third studio album titled "The Album" in June, has not received any nods.

In a statement to The New York Times on Thursday, The Weeknd said he would no "longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys." When he was asked why he was boycotting the Grammys, he told the newspaper that it was was "because of the secret committees."

The singer, whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, declined to comment further when contacted by NBC News on Friday.

The Weeknd, 31, has been breaking records in recent weeks. Billboard announced that "Blinding Lights" made history as the first song to spend a year in the Hot 100's top 10 list. And The Weeknd has also spent the third-most weeks at No. 1 on the Artist 100 list since its launch in 2014, behind only Taylor Swift and Drake.

Last month, he performed on one of the biggest stages when he headlined the Super Bowl halftime show.

Despite the accolades, The Weeknd did not receive a single nomination for this year's Grammys.

Musicians are not the only ones calling out the Grammys. Deborah Dugan, who was fired last year as the Recording Academy's chief executive, said the ceremony is "rigged" and clouded by conflicts of interest.

"I was so shocked when I got there of the level of sexism and corruption that I found at the Recording Academy," Dugan told NBC News' Kate Snow in an interview last year.

"There's a layer of corruption, self-dealing and sexism that must go," she added.

Dugan was suspended while the organization investigated allegations that she created a "toxic" work environment with an "abusive and bullying" management style. She denied the allegations in her interview with NBC.

Dugan filed a discrimination complaint against the Recording Academy. According to The New York Times, the case is in arbitration. Dugan did not immediately return a request for comment on Friday.