Let’s Talk About the 2021 Grammy Nominations

When the official 2021 Grammy Nominations were released on November 24th, “#grammys” trended at the number one spot in the United States on Twitter within minutes. Users complimented the nominations breaking records--for example, the band BTS earned a Grammy nomination for the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category, being the first K-pop group to do so. However, users also brought up how various artists were “snubbed” from a Grammy nomination. Most notable is pop singer The Weeknd, who surprisingly didn’t get a single Grammy nomination despite how his single “Blinding Lights” broke the record for most weeks in the Billboard Top 100. 

“Blinding Lights” has been on the Billboard Top 100 longer than Post Malone’s “Circles,” which received nominations for “Song of the Year” and “Record of the Year.” Fan of The Weeknd or not, anyone can agree that The Weeknd definitely deserved at least a Grammy nomination for his success.

The Weeknd took to social media to voice his opinion on the issue. In an Instagram post, he stated that the Grammys “owe me, my fans and the industry transparency” which brings up hints of corruption present in the Recording Academy. Singer Elton John also agreed with The Weeknd, stating in his Instagram post that “Blinding Lights” deserved both “Song of the Year” and “Record of the Year” at the Grammys. 

Japanese-born British singer Rina Sawayama was also talked about as she wasn’t nominated for Best New Pop Artist despite her debut album, Sawayama, achieving widespread acclaim, such as a 9/10 from Rolling Stone. 

Justin Bieber received four nominations, two of them being “Best Pop Solo Performance” for his song “Yummy,” and “Best Pop Vocal Album” for his album Changes. Despite Justin Bieber’s single and album charting, both received mixed reviews for the lack of variation and lyricism. It’s surprising that Bieber received these nominations, especially when he’s against Billie Eilish’s “Everything I Wanted,” which peaked on charts in dozens of countries, and Harry Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar,” which continues to chart on Billboard despite being released in May 2020.

There’s no question that many artists were definitely snubbed of a Grammy nomination this year. Of course, no award show is perfect, but in this situation, it’s obvious that some foul play must have been involved when a song that was labeled as “mediocre” versus a single that conveys versatility which leads to its well-deserved commercial success.

At the end of the day, award shows only represent physical recognition which can never be held up to one’s personal recognition of hard work. To put a spin-off on The Weeknd’s “Heartless,” “never need a Grammy, I’m what a Grammy needs.”