Harvey Mason, Jr. is addressing the peculiar snub of The Weeknd at the 2021 Grammys.
Following the news that the “Blinding Lights” superstar received zero nominations, despite making Billboard chart history with his hit single and the critically acclaimed After Hours, the Recording Academy’s interim chief opened up in an interview wih Variety.
When asked how that happened, he said: “Y’know, it really just comes down to the voting body that decides. We have eight nomination slots to fill in [the “Big Four” categories: Best Album, Song, Record and New Artist], five in others, and the voters vote for their favorites. It’s really interesting, though.”
“We look at it every year and make tweaks and revisions to the process; we did it this year, last year, we’ll do it next year. And I don’t think this calls it into question, honestly. The process is there so we can continue to monitor excellence. I was in the ‘core room’ this year [which decides the Big Four] and I observed, and the people that were in it are music professionals — they are excellent, at the top of their craft in songwriting and producing, and there are a lot of artists. They were critically listening to every song that came across their desks — or virtual desks — so I don’t think it shows a flaw in the process. I think it’s actually…as you get a nomination, you start to really appreciate the process, where you’re saying, ‘I really made it through a strenuous and thoughtful process,’ to get to who are really the deserving nominees for that given year,” he went on to say.
When pressed about whether the Recording Academy chief could ever remember an album being shut out like that, he said “I can’t ever remember a time when we’ve had 23,000 entries — that is the most entries we’ve ever had. I can’t remember a time when we’ve ever had this much range of genres and different types of musicians and music all in the [top four] categories. It’s actually amazing.”
Find out who was nominated at the 2021 Grammys…
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