Drake and The Weeknd have skipped the Grammys for two years in a row
Drake and The Weeknd have chosen to abstain from the 2023 Grammy Awards, marking the second consecutive year that both Canadian artists have declined to attend, as reported by Vibe.
The two performers, who have worked together for more than a decade, have previously expressed irritation with the behind-the-scenes operations of the Recording Academy, the group responsible for the awards, which are regarded by many as the highest distinction in the music industry.
The Weeknd said in 2021 that he would boycott future Grammys due to the snub of his mega-popular and critically acclaimed hit album “After Hours” from 2020, which includes the record-setting number one single “Blinding Lights.”
In a March 2021 statement to the New York Times, the singer of “Save Your Tears” claimed, “Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys,” presumably taking aim at the Recording Academy’s opaque voting process for determining nominees and winners.
In a January 2021 interview with Billboard, The Weeknd, whose actual name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, also vented.
“Look, I personally no longer care. Obviously, my three Grammys mean nothing to me anymore,” he told the music magazine. “I am inept at giving speeches regardless. Ignore award shows”
The 32-year-old performer continued, in reference to his initial shock at the rebuff, “I use a sucker punch as an analogy. Because it appeared to come out of nowhere. I absolutely felt … I sensed stuff. I’m not sure whether that was sadness or fury. I believe it was simply confusion. I only desired answers. As in, what happened?”
Drake’s animosity with the Grammys stretches back to the 2017 ceremony, when he couldn’t help but notice that his pop/R&B hit “Hotline Bling” had only been nominated for Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Rap Song.
Despite winning both categories, the 35-year-old artist was ambivalent about the Grammys’ apparent categorization of the single. “Even though ‘Hotline Bling’ is not a rap song, the only category they can fit me into is the rap category,” the “God’s Plan” singer said on his radio show the day after the 2017 ceremony. Perhaps because I have rapped in the past or because I am black, I am unable to determine the reason.
Drake’s criticisms of the Recording Academy’s primary music business award appeared to resonate with many of his fellow global-superstar artists; by the 2019 Grammys, Childish Gambino and Kendrick Lamar were among those who declined to attend, despite garnering many nominations.