The Grammys are less than a week away and while many musicians are either gearing up for the show, others are calling out the Recording Academy for its exclusionary practices. Now, former One Direction member Zayn is the latest artist to air their grievances with the Academy.
Apparently The Weeknd isn’t the only artist not happy with the Recording Academy this year. On Tuesday, R&B mainstay Zayn took to Twitter to call out the Grammys himself.
“Fuck the Grammys and everyone associated. Unless you shake hands and send gifts, there’s no nomination considerations,” he wrote. “Next year I’ll send you a basket of confectionary.”
Fuck the grammys and everyone associated. Unless you shake hands and send gifts, there’s no nomination considerations. Next year I’ll send you a basket of confectionary.
— zayn (@zaynmalik) March 9, 2021
It’s unclear what prompted Zayn’s latest tweet, but he has a long, shaky history with the Recording Academy that shouldn’t be overlooked. In 2017, the singer was denied a best new artist nomination due to the fact that he was once in One Direction, despite his massive solo success with his debut album Mind of Mine and single “Pillowtalk,” which debuted on top of Billboard’s Hot 100. Still, 1D was never nominated for an award during their six-year run as a group, with or without Zayn.
“This was actually pretty clear cut given the international success of One Direction. It’s been a few years since Zayn Malik came to prominence as a member of that group, making him ineligible for the best new artist category this year,” said Bill Freimuth, senior VP of awards at the Recording Academy, at the time.
Historically, best new artist nominations can be tough territory, with some nominated having already released their debut albums years before. In 2018, Zayn eventually earned a nod for his “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” single with Taylor Swift. But that doesn’t mean all is good.
After sending out his initial “Fuck the grammys” tweet, Zayn headed back to Twitter a few hours later to clarify, writing, “My tweet was not personal or about eligibility but was about the need for inclusion and the lack of transparency of the nomination process and the space that creates and allows favoritism, racism, and netwokring [sic] politics to influence the voting process.”
My tweet was not personal or about eligibility but was about the need for inclusion and the lack of transparency of the nomination process and the space that creates and allows favoritism, racism, and netwokring politics to influence the voting process
— zayn (@zaynmalik) March 10, 2021
Of course, Zayn’s public distaste for the Recording Academy comes just a few months after The Weeknd’s obvious snub for his record-breaking album After Hours. While Zayn may not come back with a Super Bowl performance this early in his career, at least his January record Nobody is Listening will hold fans over.
Other artists like Ellie Goulding, Fiona Apple, and Lil Wayne have recently dragged the Grammys.