“I use a sucker punch as an analogy,” he explained. “Because it just kind of hit me out of nowhere. I definitely felt… I felt things. I don’t know if it was sadness or anger. I think it was just confusion. I just wanted answers. Like, ‘What happened?’”
Ahead of this year’s announced nominees, The Weeknd — born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye — had been tapped to perform at the 63rd annual awards show.
“We were many weeks and dozens of calls in with the Grammy team around Abel’s performance right up to the day of nominations being announced,” the “Earned It” performer’s manager, Wassim Slaiby, told the Times in an email.
“We were scratching our heads in confusion and wanted answers.”
Earlier this year, there was speculation that the Recording Academy axed The Weeknd’s nods and performance after he signed on to rock the microphone during the Super Bowl half-time show in early February.
However Recording Academy chair and interim president/CEO Harvey Mason Jr. denied those claims, saying in a statement to Rolling Stone: “Unfortunately, every year, there are fewer nominations than the number of deserving artists … 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.”
As for The Weeknd’s latest decision to forgo the show from here on, “We’re all disappointed when anyone is upset,” Mason Jr. said in his statement.
“But I will say that we are constantly evolving. And this year, as in past years, we are going to take a hard look at how to improve our awards process, including the nomination review committees,” he added.
The Weeknd joins a number of artists — including Justin Bieber, Zayn Malik, Drake, Kanye West and Frank Ocean — who have openly slammed the Recording Academy for its questionable exclusions.
Read More – Feedzy