Ahead of the broadcast this Sunday, The Weeknd–real name Abel Tesfaye–announced that he will no longer let his label submit his music for award consideration.
In a statement to the New York Times, the singer announced that he will be boycotting the Grammys from here on out “because of the secret committees.” This comes after Tesfaye was snubbed of any nominations this year, despite all the critical and commercial acclaim his most recent album, After Hours, received. His first single on the album, “Blinding Lights,” wasn’t nominated for a single award after sitting atop the Billboard Hot 100 for weeks.
“I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys,” the Weeknd said.
The interim chief executive of the Recording Academy, Harvey Mason Jr., responded by saying that the institution will continue to improve itself amid mounting criticism, which has come from Tesfaye along with other artists over the years.
“We’re all disappointed when anyone is upset,” Mason said. “But I will say that we are constantly evolving. And this year, as in past years, we are going to take a hard look at how to improve our awards process, including the nomination review committees.”
While Mason insists Abel wasn’t nominated because there simply weren’t enough votes for the album or its singles, The Weeknd has said that his lack of recognition was because he chose to perform at the Super Bowl Half Time Show instead of The Grammys, which he was reportedly in talks with before accepting the former.
The Weeknd is the latest artist to air out the Grammys for their lack of inclusivity when it comes to Black creators. Drake, Frank Ocean, and Kanye West have all publicly criticized the Recording Academy for using their awards as incentives to perform, along with other criticisms, like lack of diversity throughout nominations.