Despite holding firm in his Grammys boycott this year – after rejecting several nominations ahead of the 2022 ceremony – Drake still managed to secure an award.
Commercially prominent acts including Taylor Swift and (a late-arriving) Beyoncé were on hand for the 65th annual Grammys ceremony, the CBS telecast for which blew past a scheduled 210-minute runtime to span nearly four hours.
And while much of the post-event buzz surrounding Swift and Beyoncé has involved their awards – Swift won another Grammy even though Midnights wasn’t up for consideration, and Beyoncé now has the most Grammys of all time – their appearances are significant for other reasons as well.
To be sure, both Swift and Beyoncé boycotted the Grammys in the not-so-distant past, specifically in the wake of shocking allegations made by former Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan.
Though the two have evidently put to rest their qualms with the Grammys, different well-known artists – Drake and The Weeknd chief among them – haven’t done the same. The Toronto natives asked that their names be removed from consideration at the 2023 Grammys, and Drake has long been a critic of the Recording Academy, the entity behind the happening.
Notwithstanding the exclusion of the projects on which he’s the lead artist, the 36-year-old rapper received an award at yesterday evening’s Grammys, specifically for his appearance on Future’s “Wait for U.”
Drake (who reupped with Universal Music Group last year) and Lagos-born Tems are featured on the track, which topped the competition in the Best Melodic Rap Performance category. Needless to say, Drake wasn’t on hand to receive the award – and nor were Tems and Future, with “Wait for U” producer ATL Jacob having delivered a brief acceptance speech as a result.
Similarly, Drake – who was actually up for multiple awards, including Best Rap Song, for his part in collaborations – hadn’t addressed his latest Grammy win on Instagram or Twitter at the time of this writing.
But moving forward, it’ll be worth monitoring the Grammys criticism and boycotts (as well as the commercial byproducts thereof) of high-profile creators like The Weeknd and Drake, who have a combined 166.04 million monthly listeners on Spotify.
Furthermore, it’ll also be interesting to see whether the 2023 Grammys (which featured performances from Brandi Carlile, Stevie Wonder, Bad Bunny, Lizzo, Harry Styles, and an array of others) were able to halt the multiyear ratings slip that’s affected the event and competing award shows.