Los Angeles: Grammy chief Harvey Mason Jr has responded to R&B star The Weeknd's claims of "corruption", saying though he too was surprised that the singer did not receive any nominations, every year the number of artists vying for recognition at the "only peer-voted music awards" is much more than the nominations.
In a major surprise snub for the 63rd Grammy Awards nominations, The Weeknd was shut out, despite having the biggest-selling album this year with 'After Hours'.
The singer, who was expected to rule the main categories, after picking up multiple awards at both the MTV VMAs and American Music Awards 2020 called out the Recording Academy for ignoring him in the nominations.
"The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency," The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, tweeted after the nomination announcement.
Mason Jr also confirmed reports that the artist was originally expected to perform at the Grammys Awards ceremony on January 31, as well as the Super Bowl the following week, but denied that the negotiations around that situation, which sources say became contentious, had any role in The Weeknd's absence from the nods.
"Congratulations to today's Grammy nominees, who have earned their peers' recognition for their incredible work. There were a record number of submissions in this unusual and competitive year," the Grammy chief wrote according to Variety.
"We understand that The Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated. I was surprised and can empathize with what he's feeling. His music this year was excellent, and his contributions to the music community and broader world are worthy of everyone's admiration..." he said.
Mason Jr also said Recording Academy was "thrilled" when they found out The Weeknd would be performing at the upcoming Super Bowl and they would have loved to have him also perform on the Grammy stage the weekend before.
"Unfortunately, every year, there are fewer nominations than the number of deserving artists. But as the only peer-voted music award, we will continue to recognize and celebrate excellence in music while shining a light on the many amazing artists that make up our global community.
"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," the Grammy head said.
The Grammy nominations are multi-step process in which committees, which include veteran music professionals, make their decisions based on a shortlist handed down from a screening committee that considers thousands of submissions.