The Weeknd Refuses to Walk Back Grammys Boycott Despite the Elimination of ‘Secret Committees’

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Though the Recording Academy recently voted to eliminate “nominations review committees” – referred to as “secret committees” by some – The Weeknd isn’t yet ready to end his Grammys boycott.

To recap, The Weeknd first took aim at the Recording Academy back in November of 2020, after he received zero Grammy nominations despite the considerable commercial success of his After Hours effort. The Toronto-born singer-songwriter characterized the annual awards show (which attracted a record-low number of viewers this year) as “corrupt” and stated that higher-ups “owe me, my fans and the industry transparency.”

Then, it came to light in January that the 31-year-old “Save Your Tears” creator wouldn’t be part of the Grammys’ rescheduled broadcast, and The Weeknd in March relayed: “Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.”

Seemingly in response to this firmly worded criticism, the Recording Academy revealed late last month that it had voted to do away with “nominations review committees,” or collections of 15 to 30 “highly skilled music peers who represented and voted within their genre communities” to choose “the final selection of nominees.”

Notwithstanding this pivot and the fact that the Academy lowered the number of “specific genre field categories” that members may cast votes in, to “ensure music creators are voting in the categories in which they are most knowledgeable and qualified,” The Weeknd has made clear that he doesn’t plan on burying the hatchet anytime soon.

Speaking to The New York Times, The Weeknd said of the development: “Even though I won’t be submitting my music, the Grammys’ recent admission of corruption will hopefully be a positive move for the future of this plagued award and give the artist community the respect it deserves with a transparent voting process.”

It’s unclear when – or whether – The Weeknd will resume sending his music to the Recording Academy for consideration at the Grammys, but it bears mentioning on this front that more than a few other creators have had (and overcome) decidedly public feuds with the 64-year-old entity, which generated a total of $91.62 million during the 12 months ending on July 31st, 2019.

To be sure, Taylor Swift and Beyonce were among the high-profile figures who boycotted the 2020 Grammys in the wake of former Recording Academy head Deborah Dugan’s shocking allegations. However, Beyonce scored the largest number of nominations (nine) and the most awards (four) of any artist at this year’s Grammys, upping her lifetime awards total (as a solo act as well as a member of The Carters and Destiny’s Child) to a record high of 28.

Taylor Swift, for her part, performed live at the 63rd Grammys and became the first female artist to win an award for “Album of the Year” three times.

The Weeknd donated $1 million to Ethiopian hunger relief about one month ago and is preparing to embark on an extensive “After Hours World Tour” beginning in January of next year.