Grammys Says He “Condemns All Forms of Racism” on Annual Show
Was Canadian pop star The Weeknd unfairly excluded from this year’s Grammy Awards?
Aspiring musician Bolu Adefemi, 13, from Oshawa, Ont., Told CBC Kids News it was difficult to know for sure.
But she hopes the controversy prompts organizers to take a closer look at how the annual event unfolds “to make sure everything is equal, everything is fair.”
On March 11, Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd, announced that he was boycotting the annual music awards ceremony in the United States over what he called an unfair nomination process.
The Weeknd isn’t the only artist voicing concerns about the Grammys. One Direction’s Justin Bieber, Halsey and Zayn Malik called the show for corruption and lack of diversity. (Image credit: Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images)
We don’t know why the artist, whose song Blinding lights spent over a year in one of the top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, was not nominated.
But some have accused the Grammys of discriminating against non-white musicians.
Concerns about the lack of diversity
“The Grammys have faced this kind of scrutiny of their electoral system – and the way they approach non-white musicians – for a long time now,” CBC Music’s Errol Nazareth said in an interview with CBC Kids News.
Nazareth said he “almost jumped out of his skin” when he read that no artist from an African country has ever won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys, for example.
CBC host Frequencies and Big city small world said this raises questions about decision makers and their qualifications.
“How well do they know various diverse communities?”
Bolu, who plays Bolu Sings, dreams of one day winning a Grammy Award. (Image submitted by Bolu Adefemi)
Using your voice for more than singing
Bolu, who is a singer-songwriter and composes music on her guitar, said she understands why The Weeknd would be frustrated with the lack of nominations.
“I understand how he feels because as an artist you put a lot of time and work into your art so it would be hard not to see yourself getting what you want,” she said. .
For Bolu, who watched the Grammys for the first time this year, it’s important that The Weeknd speaks up and pushes for change.
“I think every little voice counts.”
On the Grammy Awards show on March 14, Harvey Mason Jr. gave a pre-recorded speech addressing concerns raised by artists like The Weeknd. He asked artists to work “with us” and not “against us”. (Image credit: Grammy Awards)
The Grammys Respond
Grammys Acting CEO Harvey Mason Jr. addressed critics at the awards show in Los Angeles, Calif., March 14.
“Music requires listening,” he said.
“The Recording Academy’s job is not just to award awards. It’s listening to musicians. We hear the cries of diversity and the demands for transparency, ”Mason said.
Although he did not announce any concrete plans for change, he said the struggle for diversity and equal representation must be tackled right away.
This post appeared during the 2021 Grammy Awards, towards the end of the show. (Image credit: Grammy Awards)
When he announced his boycott, The Weeknd referred to “secret committees” that make decisions on appointments behind closed doors.
The committees he refers to are groups of industry veterans, executives and artists who select candidates in certain categories.
When asked last week by Variety if the Grammys would consider changing the way these nominations are made, Mason said it was “definitely something that we’re going to keep looking at. ”
Bolu said she enjoyed seeing artists like Beyoncé, who won her 28th award, make history at the Grammys. (Image submitted by Bolu Adefemi)
A chance to grow
As for Bolu, she said she hopes the Grammys can turn this review into an opportunity.
“At the end of the day, no one is perfect,” she said. “Maybe they will use it to grow taller.”
Bolu said it was nice to see some of his favorite artists recognized, including black musicians.
She mentioned Megan Thee Stallion, who won the award for Best New Artist, and Beyoncé, who became the most decorated woman in Grammy history with 28 wins.
With files from CBC News