Beyonce dominates Grammy nods; snubbed The Weeknd calls process ‘corrupt’

Beyonce’s leading nine nods made her the second most nominated Grammy artist in history, with 79 nominations, and came through projects that celebrated Black culture in a year of racial turmoil in the United States. — Reuters pic
Beyonce’s leading nine nods made her the second most nominated Grammy artist in history, with 79 nominations, and came through projects that celebrated Black culture in a year of racial turmoil in the United States. — Reuters pic

LOS ANGELES, Nov 25 — Beyonce dominated nominations for the 2021 Grammy Awards yesterday 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 leading nine nods made her the second most nominated Grammy artist in history, with a total of 79 nominations, and came through projects that celebrated Black culture in a year of racial turmoil in the United States.

The biggest shutout for the highest honours in the music industry was The Weeknd, who had been widely expected to get several nominations for his critically acclaimed album After Hours, which 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 Weeknd, in a Twitter post, said: “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency.”

The Recording Academy, whose members choose the nominees and vote on the winners, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The academy in June announced tighter rules regarding potential conflicts of interest after claims that the selection process was open to rigging.

The Grammys will be handed out in Los Angeles on January 31, hosted by Trevor Noah.

British singer Dua Lipa, pop star Taylor Swift and rapper Roddy Ricch got six nominations apiece.

Swift and Dua Lipa will compete for the top prize — album of the year — along with R&B singer Post Malone, British band Coldplay, female band Haim, avant-garde Briton Jacob Collier, American soul band Black Pumas and American alternative R&B singer Jhene Aiko.

Billboard called the nominations for album, record, song of the year and best new artist surprising for the range of “superstar nominees as well as out-of-nowhere newcomers.”

Bob Dylan, 79, was a no-show despite acclaim for his first album of new music in eight years, Rough and Rowdy Ways, while established artists like Katy Perry, Maren Morris, The Chicks, Halsey and the Jonas Brothers all got zero nominations.

But K-pop sensation BTS got its first major Grammy nod, for single Dynamite in the best pop group performance field, in a breakthrough for a South Korean group.

The best new artist field included rappers Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat, as well as alternative artist Phoebe Bridgers and Noah Cyrus, the younger sister of Miley Cyrus.

Women, including Fiona Apple, Brittany Howard and newcomer Ingrid Andress, packed the rock and country music fields, while Britain’s Harry Styles got his first Grammy love with three nods for his work on album Fine Line.

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.

Swift’s coronavirus lockdown album Folklore brought her back to the album of the year contest, while her single Cardigan was among the song of the year entries. — Reuters

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