Zayn Malik has hit out at the Grammy Awards for excluding him, five days before the music ceremony is scheduled to take place.
“Unless you shake hands and send gifts, there’s no nomination considerations. Next year I’ll send you a basket of confectionery,” wrote the livid musician in a tweet.
According to details, Malik’s latest album wasn’t eligible for this year’s Grammys because it was released after the cut-off date in August 2020. The lead single for his third album Nobody Is Listening ‘Better‘ was released on September 25, 2020, while the album itself came out in January 2021.
Later, the British-Pakistani singer clarified that his comments were “not personal or about eligibility”.
Instead, he was concerned “about the need for inclusion and the lack of transparency of the nomination process”, saying the current system and “allows favouritism, racism, and networking politics to influence the voting”.
Malik has never been nominated, either as a solo act or with One Direction.
Zayn’s comments a few months after The Weeknd, who was snubbed in this year’s nominations, accused Grammys organisers of being “corrupt”.
Audiences and fans had expected the Canadian singer’s hit single Blinding Lights, which has now spent a record-breaking 52 weeks in the US top 10, to be among the main contenders. Instead, he was overlooked in all 84 categories.
Terming the exclusion “an attack”, The Weeknd had said: “I’m not a cocky person. I’m not arrogant. People told me I was going to get nominated. The world told me. We were all very confused.”
He added that the three Grammys he has “mean nothing” now and called for change within the industry.
“In the last 61 years of the Grammys, only 10 Black artists have won Album of the Year. I don’t want to make this about me,” he added. “That’s just a fact.”
Meanwhile, the 63rd Grammys Ceremony will take place in Los Angeles on March 14, with special staging to adapt to the pandemic era.
The show will feature four stages, each with a small group of performers, nominees and guests, plus a fifth stage for presenters. The stages have been arranged in a circle, while a reduced crew will stand in the centre to film the proceedings.
Beyoncé leads the nominations with nine in total, including four for Black Parade, a protest anthem released at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer.
Dua Lipa and Taylor Swift both have six nominations – with Swift hopeful of winning album of the year for a record-breaking third time for her first lockdown album Folklore.
Performers on the night will include Cardi B, BTS, Doja Cat, Billie Eilish, Haim, Megan Thee Stallion and Malik’s former bandmate Harry Styles, who is nominated for three awards.