Are the Grammys rigged? The Weeknd, Kanye, and more artists who think so

Grammys rejects are crying foul. 

Twitter temper tantrums have been all the rage as top superstars became the recording industry’s biggest crybabies after being denied acknowledgment on what’s hyped as “music’s biggest night.”

Sure, this isn’t the first time pop stars have raged at the Recording Academy — but Grammys 2021 is a tipping point beyond bellyaches over nominations snubs.

Explosive claims that the Grammys are “corrupt,” sexist and biased for “the white man” have plagued the 63rd annual awards show since the Recording Academy announced this year’s nods in November.  

After a two-month COVID-19 delay, the controversial awards presentation ceremony — hosted by “The Daily Show’s” Trevor Noah — finally airs at 8 p.m. Sunday, March 14, on CBS.

Until then, peep a list of chart-topping celebs who have cried the blues about being overlooked for the Grammys gold. Are they just sore losers — or are they really on to something?

Zayn Malik

“F—k the grammys and everyone associated,” Malik, 28, cyber-sobbed Tuesday. “Unless you shake hands and send gifts, there’s no nomination considerations. Next year I’ll send you a basket of confectionary.”

The One Direction singer’s foul-mouthed rant came four months after the Recording Academy released its list of 2021 hopefuls.   

Malik, who’s never been nominated for a Grammy, dropped his third solo album, “Nobody Is Listening,” in January. However, the Recording Academy declared his 11-track project wasn’t considered for Grammys shine because it was released after this year’s eligibility period of Oct. 1, 2019 through Aug. 31, 2020. 

The Weeknd appearing lost in a tunnel became an instant meme from the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show.
The Weeknd at the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show.
Getty Images

The Weeknd

The “Starboy” was seeing “Blinding Lights” when none of his top-charting work from the album “After Hours” received Recording Academy acclaim during November’s nominee announcement.

“The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…” The Weeknd, 30, cried through his keyboard just moments after this year’s noms were revealed on Nov. 24. 

The three-time Grammy winner echoed his displeasure with the voting committee by likening the snub to a “sucker punch,” and saying “forget awards shows,” during an interview with Billboard in January. 

However, three days before the Grammys 2021 broadcast The Weeknd really went in: “Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys,” the “Save Your Tears” singer said in a statement to the New York Times Thursday. 

Recording Academy chair and interim president/CEO Harvey Mason Jr. denied those claims, saying in a statement to Rolling Stone: “Unfortunately, every year, there are fewer nominations than the number of deserving artists … To be clear, voting in all categories ended well before The Weeknd’s performance at the Super Bowl was announced, so in no way could it have affected the nomination process.”

As for The Weeknd’s decision to boycott the show from here on, “We’re all disappointed when anyone is upset,” Mason Jr. said in his statement.

Halsey strikes a pose on the red carpet at the 2017 Grammys.
Halsey walks the carpet at the 2017 Grammys.


Halsey, 26, huffed and puffed and blew “bribes” shade the Recording Academy’s way back in 2019 when her “Manic” masterpiece failed to garner any awards show honors. 

“The Grammys are an elusive process,” the “You Should Be Sad” songstress lamented in a lengthy Instagram Story. 

“It can often be about behind the scenes private performances, knowing the right people, campaigning through the grapevine, with the right handshakes and ‘bribes’ that can be just ambiguous enough to pass as ‘not-bribes.’”

Reps for the Recording Academy did not respond to The Posts requests for comment on on Halsey’s accusations.

Meanwhile, the “Graveyard” singer went on to shade the awards franchise while picking up her 2019 AMA statuette — and later blasted the Grammys for excluding her certified-platinum ballad “Without Me,” from the 2020 noms list.

Justin Bieber performs onstage for the 2020 American Music Awards.
Justin Bieber performs onstage for the 2020 American Music Awards.
Getty Images

Justin Bieber 

Bieber couldn’t belieb it when his platinum-selling anthology “Changes” earned a nod for Best Pop Vocal Album rather than Best R&B album. 

“Changes was and is an R&B album,” the 27-year-old Canadian vocalist whined on Instagram after receiving his four nominations for this year’s ceremonies. “It is not being acknowledged as an R&B album which is very strange to me.”

While “flattered” by the Recording Academy’s acknowledgment, Bieber continued: “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!”

The Biebs was apparently so perturbed by his album’s misclassification that he ultimately chose to boycott the awards show all together.

Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj performs onstage during the 2017 NBA Awards.
Michael Loccisano

Nicki Minaj

The “Queen” crooner from Queens called out the Grammys for not bowing down to her musical prowess since Day 1. 

“Never forget the Grammys didn’t give me my best new artist award when I had 7 songs simultaneously charting on billboard & bigger first week than any female rapper in the last decade- went on to inspire a generation. They gave it to the white man Bon Iver,” Minaj, 38, tweeted after the Recording Academy selected its 2021 picks for praise. 

Although the “Tusa” rhymer has been nominated for 10 Grammys since 2011, she has yet to ever take home even one little gilded gramophone. 

Kanye West
Kanye West has long been a vocal critic of the Grammy Awards.
GC Images

Kanye West 

How pissed off does one have to be to urinate on a Grammy? Apparently, very. 

Amid his 2020 presidential campaign, West, 43, took aim at the Recording Academy in one of his most infamous digital rants. After plunging one of his 21 Grammys into a toilet, the Chicago native showered the trophy in pee and shared an image of the irreverent act on Twitter in September. 

Fellow hip-hop icon-turned-TV-star LL Cool J called West out for disrespecting his Grammys, advising that he “Piss in a Yeezy” instead.

The “Stronger” emcee’s since-deleted liquid rebuke of the awards came amongst a mélange of tweets bashing the music industry for subjecting black artists to unfair treatment. 

Reps for the Recording Academy did not respond to The Posts requests for comment on Minaj and West’s claims of racial inequity in the nomination process and industry as a whole.

The real tear-jerker

Twitter fits from scorned singers notwithstanding, researchers are calling out the fact that women make up less than 3 percent of all music producers and engineers — despite the Recording Academy’s major push for gender equality in the industry.

“Women were 2.6% of producers overall across 600 songs,” according to the authors of a recent study from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. Their findings were spelled out in tweets published by the Initiative’s verified Twitter account Monday. 

The Recording Academy launched its Women in the Mix Pledge in 2019 as an effort to welcome more lady music masters in the studio. The call to action rallied artists, label executives and other producers to consider at least two women in the hiring process of making any song. 

However, the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative found that the Academy’s efforts failed to generate a single charting song produced by a woman in 2020. 

However, the Recording Academy has started to close the gender gap when it comes to issuing nods to women in the top 5 categories: Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist and Producer of the Year.

But the study noted that out of all the nominees up for the highly coveted accolades over the last nine years, only 13.4 percent were women. 

Some might consider that a crying shame. 


New York Post

The New York Post is a daily tabloid newspaper in New York City. The Post also operates NYPost.com, the celebrity gossip site PageSix.com and the entertainment site Decider.com.

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