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Halsey says getting Grammys nominations is about “knowing the right people”

By | Published on Monday 30 November 2020


Halsey is the latest artist ‘snubbed’ by the Grammy Awards to suggest that her lack of nominations in the recently unveiled 2021 shortlists may be down to her unwillingness to offer bribes.

“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”, she said in an Instagram story post. “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 handshake and ‘bribes’ that can be just ambiguous enough to pass as ‘not bribes'”.

The most high profile artist to hit out at the Grammys for a lack of nominations is The Weeknd, who outright accused the event of being corrupt. In part, he said that he had received no nominations because he has signed a deal to headline the Super Bowl half time show next year, rather than playing exclusively at the Grammys awards show.

Speaking to Billboard, the boss of Grammy makers the US Recording Academy, Harvey Mason Jr, denied this, saying: “We were THRILLED when we found out he would be performing at the upcoming Super Bowl and we would have loved to have him also perform on the Grammy stage the weekend before. To be clear, voting in all categories ended well before The Weeknd’s performance at the Super Bowl was announced, so in no way could it have affected the nomination process”.

Still, this idea was something Halsey ran with in her post, claiming that “committing to exclusive TV performances” so that the Recording Academy can earn “millions in advertising” is one way that artists can assure nominations, adding: “It’s not always about the music or quality or culture”.

“The Weeknd deserves better, and [my album] ‘Manic’ did too”, she concluded. “Perhaps it’s unbecoming of me to say so, but I can’t care anymore. While I am THRILLED for my talented friends who were recognised this year, I am hoping for more transparency or reform. But I’m sure this post will blacklist me anyway”.

So she’s very pleased that her friends got nominated, even though she apparently assumes they got those nods in an underhand way rather than because they deserved them.

Artists being angry about not receiving any nominations at the Grammys is nothing new, of course. Although conspiracy theories such as those being pushed by The Weeknd and Halsey have only grown since the departure of short-lived Recording Academy CEO Deborah Duggan just ahead this year’s big Grammys event. She made various accusations of corruption on her way out, which organisers have been attempting to quash ever since.

Of course, whether or not claims made by the likes of The Weeknd and Halsey are valid gripes or just Trump-style sore losing, it’s probably worth remembering that all awards are basically made up nonsense.