Halsey is the latest artist to criticize the Recording Academy’s Grammy nomination process, writing in an Instagram story about the lack of transparency as well as “campaigning through the grapevine, with the right handshakes and ‘bribes.'”
While Halsey is a two-time Grammy nominee — in 2016, for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (“Closer” with the Chainsmokers) and Album of the Year (as a featured guest on Justin Bieber’s Purpose) — the singer has never been nominated for her own music, which includes 2020’s Grammy-eligible Manic as well as that album’s Number One hit “Without Me.”
“I’ve been thinking and wanted to choose my words carefully because a lot of people have extended sympathy and apology to me since the Grammy nominations,” Halsey wrote.
“The Grammys are an elusive process. 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.’ And if you get that far, it’s about committing to exclusive TV performances and making sure you help the Academy make their millions in advertising on the night of the show.”
With no nominations at the 2021 ceremony, Halsey joins the Weeknd — whose After Hours and “Blinding Lights” were also surprisingly shut out — in criticizing the Grammys’ nomination process.
“Perhaps sometimes it is (!!!) but it’s not always about the music or quality or culture. Just wanted to get that off my chest,” Halsey wrote. “@theweeknd deserves better, and Manic did too. Perhaps it’s unbecoming of me to say so but I can’t care anymore.”
Halsey added, “While I am THRILLED for my talented friends who were recognized this year, I am hoping for more transparency or reform. But I’m sure this post will blacklist me anyway.”
Representatives for the Recording Academy did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone.
The Weeknd, who was reportedly in talks to perform at the 2021 Grammy ceremony, previously tweeted of his snubbing, “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…”
Recording Academy Chair and Interim President/CEO Harvey Mason Jr. told Rolling Stone in a statement, “We understand that the Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated. I was surprised and can empathize with what he’s feeling. His music this year was excellent, and his contributions to the music community and broader world are worthy of everyone’s admiration.”