The Weeknd performs with dancers in face bandages at Super Bowl 2021 halftime show

Grammys end ‘secret’ nomination committees following criticism and boycott from The Weeknd

Awards body said changes are being made ‘to ensure that rules and guidelines are transparent and equitable’

Louis Chilton
Saturday 01 May 2021 09:00
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The organisers of the Grammy Awards have announced that they are ending the “secret” committees responsible for its nomination process.

The Recording Academy had faced criticism from artists including previous Grammy-winner The Weeknd, who stated in March that he would be boycotting the ceremony “because of the secret committees”.

Other artists including Beyoncé, Solange, Kanye West, and Frank Ocean have skipped or criticised the awards body in recent years for failing to honour artists of colour.

On Friday (30 April), the Recording Academy announced that nominations for next year’s major awards would be selected by its full voting body, totalling more than 11,000 members. Previously, nominees in certain categories (including Album, Song, Record of the Year and Best New Artist) had been approved by committees of 15-30 unnamed industry experts.

Nominating committees remain for some of the “craft” categories (such as Liner Notes and Producer), where the process has been the subject of less controversy in the past.

Additionally, 90% of the general Academy electorate will undertake a requalification process this year “to ensure the voting body is actively engaged in music creation”.

In a statement, the Academy said the changes were made “to ensure that the Grammy Awards rules and guidelines are transparent and equitable”.

The Weeknd’s 2020 album After Hours was one of the most successful records of the year, but was not nominated for any awards at this year’s Grammys.

Writing on Twitter last November, the Canadian pop star claimed: “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency.”

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