Credit: Instagram / @iamhalsey

What’s a music awards show without musicians? 

It looks like the Grammys will soon find out as more and more artists distance themselves from the annual event due to its ongoing lack of diversity and questions around the validity of nominees and winners. 

Despite the awards ceremony being criticised for years for its tendency to favour white, male artists over any other – and the hashtag #GrammysSoMale going viral in 2018 after just one woman won a major award that year, 2021’s offering isn’t looking much better. 

After The Weeknd called out The Recording Academy last week, dubbing it “corrupt” after his hugely popular new album was snubbed, Halsey has added her thoughts to the growing list of artists who’ve distanced themselves from the Grammys. 

Taking to Instagram, the singer wrote a lengthy message on her stories, calling out the Recording Academy for their lack of transparency when selecting nominees. “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 began. “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 handshakes and ‘bribes’ that can be just ambiguous enough to pass as ‘not-bribes.’” 

She continued, “And if you get that far, it’s about committing to exclusive TV performances and making sure you help the Academy make their millions in advertising on the night of the show. Perhaps sometimes it is (!!) but it’s not always about the music or quality or culture.”

The 26-year-old went on to defend The Weeknd, saying the musician “deserves better.” Elton John and Drake have also publicly spoken in defense of The Weeknd in the past week too, with Drake saying The Grammys “may no longer matter”. Last year, the rapper also used his win to tell young up-and-coming artists that they don’t need to aspire to physical awards and industry recognition if they’re already resonating with an audience on a personal level. Plus, let’s not forget that back in 2016, Frank Ocean declined to submit his album “Blonde” for Grammy consideration, telling The New York Times that the Grammy process “doesn’t seem to be representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down.”

Perhaps #GrammysSoMale will morph into #GrammysSoIrrelevant soon?