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The Weeknd doubles down on Grammys “corruption” claims

The singer said the Recording Academy’s rule change is “an important start,” but he’s still boycotting the organization.

The Weeknd Getty Images/Jean Baptiste Lacroix

The Weeknd has doubled down on his decision to boycott the Grammys after the Recording Academy announced new rule changes. In a new interview with Variety, the platinum-selling singer again called the awards nomination process corrupt.

“The trust has been broken for so long between the Grammy organization and artists that it would be unwise to raise a victory flag,” he said Monday (May 3) about the new rule changes.

“I think the industry and public alike need to see the transparent system truly at play for the win to be celebrated, but it’s an important start,” he continued. “I remain uninterested in being a part of the Grammys, especially with their own admission of corruption for all these decades. I will not be submitting in the future.”

His manager Wassim “Sal” Slaiby added to the outlet, “No change comes without a voice heard. I’m just proud of Abel for standing up for what he believes in. I was in a shock when all this happened but now I see it clearly and I’m glad we stood for our beliefs.”

As reported by REVOLT, the Recording Academy announced on Friday (April 30) that it was dropping the anonymous nomination review committees in hopes of creating a “transformational change” following criticism from The Weeknd and Diddy, who called out the Grammys last year. In addition to the rule change, a new president/CEO is also expected to take over interim Chief Harvey Mason Jr.’s role next month.

“I want to see a fair and accountable process be put into place and held to that new standard that is set forth. This is their chance to make this iconic award mean something again and have credibility,” Slaiby added. “To the new CEO, I would just implore that they run this right and step away from old school backdoor politics that have plagued the Grammys for years. Be fresh and operate with honor.”

Besides the removal of the committees, The Weeknd also advocated for the Recording Academy and other music industry giants to turn their attention toward charitable causes. The singer himself has donated millions of dollars over the past few months, most recently in food aid to Ethiopia, where his family is from.

“The industry can keep stepping up to share their revenue to help those in need in various situations and to support the marginalized communities who create and buy the music they sell,” he said. “We have seen some movement there and I expect and encourage even more. I care about making music that people love and helping where I can. Right now my concern is what’s happening in my home country of Ethiopia and [I] encourage people to be aware of what is happening and donate where they can.”

Elsewhere in the interview, The Weeknd also teased his next album, saying, “If the last record is the After Hours of the night, then the dawn is coming.”

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