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Recording Academy Chief Addresses The Weeknd's Grammys 2021 Snub

Recording Academy Chief Addresses The Weeknd's Grammys 2021 Snub

Harvey Mason, Jr. is addressing the peculiar snub of The Weeknd at the 2021 Grammys.

Following the news that the “Blinding Lights” superstar received zero nominations, despite making Billboard chart history with his hit single and the critically acclaimed After Hours, the Recording Academy’s interim chief opened up in an interview wih Variety.

When asked how that happened, he said: “Y’know, it really just comes down to the voting body that decides. We have eight nomination slots to fill in [the “Big Four” categories: Best Album, Song, Record and New Artist], five in others, and the voters vote for their favorites. It’s really interesting, though.”

“We look at it every year and make tweaks and revisions to the process; we did it this year, last year, we’ll do it next year. And I don’t think this calls it into question, honestly. The process is there so we can continue to monitor excellence. I was in the ‘core room’ this year [which decides the Big Four] and I observed, and the people that were in it are music professionals — they are excellent, at the top of their craft in songwriting and producing, and there are a lot of artists. They were critically listening to every song that came across their desks — or virtual desks — so I don’t think it shows a flaw in the process. I think it’s actually…as you get a nomination, you start to really appreciate the process, where you’re saying, ‘I really made it through a strenuous and thoughtful process,’ to get to who are really the deserving nominees for that given year,” he went on to say.

He also spoke about albums getting a fair shot at being nominated.

“All the records get the fairest of fair shakes. We listen to all the music — even an album, you’re listening to almost the whole album, it takes I don’t know how many hours. It’s a long, arduous process and people take pride in it. 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.’ Also, you have to remember that committee can’t vote on something that’s not there. They get a list of the 20 top vote-getters from the general voting field, and at that point they listen and talk about who to push forward as the final eight. So it’s really a two-step process.

He declined to address whether The Weeknd‘s album was on the shortlist: “We never talk about what’s on the shortlist, so I’ll leave it at that,” he said.

When pressed about whether the Recording Academy chief could ever remember an album being shut out like that, he said “I can’t ever remember a time when we’ve had 23,000 entries — that is the most entries we’ve ever had. I can’t remember a time when we’ve ever had this much range of genres and different types of musicians and music all in the [top four] categories. It’s actually amazing.”

Find out who was nominated at the 2021 Grammys…

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: 2021 Grammys, Grammys, The Weeknd

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