Beyonce leads Grammy nominations
LOS ANGELES – Beyonce dominated nominations for the 2021 Grammy Awards on Tuesday in a field that favoured alternative artists over mainstream musicians, topped by a stunning snub for Canadian singer The Weeknd, who called the process “corrupt”.
Beyonce’s nine nods made her the second most nominated Grammy artist in history, with a total of 79, and came through projects that celebrated Black culture in a year of racial turmoil in the United States.
The biggest shutout for the highest honors in the music industry was The Weeknd, whose critically acclaimed album “After Hours”, was No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts for four weeks.
Variety called the omission of the R&B singer, who has been chosen to play the halftime show at the Super Bowl next year, “the biggest snub in memory”.
The Recording Academy’s chair and interim CEO, Harvey Mason, said in a written statement that he understood The Weeknd’s disappointment.
“We were thrilled when we found out he would be performing at the upcoming Super Bowl and we would have loved to have him also perform on the GRAMMY stage the weekend before. Unfortunately, every year, there are fewer nominations than the number of deserving artists,” Mason said.
In June the academy, whose members choose the nominees and vote on the winners, announced tighter rules regarding potential conflicts of interest in response to claims that the selection process was open to rigging.
Beyonce’s nominations came for her song “Black Parade” and visual album “Black is King,” along with her collaboration with Megan Thee Stallion on the single “Savage”. They were released during a summer of nationwide protests over police killings of Black people in the United States.
The Grammys will be handed out in Los Angeles on January. 31, hosted by Trevor Noah. (Reuters)