The 2021 Grammy nominations were announced Tuesday, and fan-favourite Bieber was nominated four times for best pop vocal album, best pop solo performance, best pop duo/group performance and best country duo/group performance.
Bieber, 26, disagreed with the classification of his music, claiming his songs and latest album, Changes, were meant to be R&B, not pop.
“I am very meticulous and intentional about my music,” wrote Bieber. “With that being said I set out to make an R&B album. Changes was and is an R&B album.
“It is not being acknowledged as an R&B album which is very strange to me… For this not to be put into that category feels weird considering from the chords to the melodies to the vocal style all the way down to the hip hop drums that were chosen it is undeniably, unmistakably an R&B album!”
Bieber was sure to emphasize that he’s not “ungrateful” for the nominations, and referenced his “gratitude” for being nominated at all. Bieber has only one Grammy win to his name.
And that leads us to The Weeknd, who lambasted the Grammys in a no-holds-barred Twitter post after he received zero nominations for his recent successful album, After Hours.
“The Grammys remain corrupt,” he wrote in the biting tweet. “You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…”
The Weeknd, 30, is set to headline the halftime show at the 2021 Super Bowl, and rumours picked up online (following a TMZ report) that it was the reason for his supposed snub.
The TMZ report said that The Weeknd was given a choice by “Grammy brass”: he either performed at the awards ceremony or headlined the Super Bowl halftime show, but not both.
Harvey Mason Jr., Recording Academy chair and interim president/CEO, denied the rumour, saying in a statement that the performance “in no way could have affected the nomination process.”
“We understand that The Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated,” he said. “I was surprised and can empathize with what he’s feeling. His music this year was excellent, and his contributions to the music community and broader world are worthy of everyone’s admiration.
“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. But as the only peer-voted music award, we will continue to recognize and celebrate excellence in music while shining a light on the many amazing artists that make up our global community.”
The Weeknd has not publicly acknowledged Mason’s statement, and his representatives did not reply to a request for comment.
As of this writing, The Weeknd has won three Grammys.
Beyoncé‘s anthem about Black pride scored multiple nominations, making her the leading contender at this year’s ceremony with nine. A winner of 24 Grammys, Beyoncé is now the second-most-nominated act in the history of the awards show with 79 nominations.
Multiple nominations went to Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa and Roddy Ricch, who each earned six nominations and followed Beyoncé as the second-most-nominated acts.
— With files from The Associated Press