Zayn Malik criticises Grammys voting and says it is vulnerable to ‘racism’

Zayn Malik of One Direction performing on stage during Radio1's Big Weekend at Glasgow Green in Glasgow.
Zayn Malik of One Direction performing on stage during Radio1's Big Weekend at Glasgow Green in Glasgow.

Singer Zayn Malik has criticised a “lack of transparency” at the Grammy Awards, alleging the nomination process allows favouritism and racism to influence voting.

The former One Direction star shared a strongly worded tweet, saying unless artists “shake hands and send gifts” they stand no chance of being recognised.

Malik later clarified his stance after fans pointed out his latest album, Nobody Is Listening, was not eligible for Sunday’s ceremony.

He said his original post was “not personal or about eligibility”. The Recording Academy, the body which oversees the Grammys, has been contacted for comment.

Malik, 28, tweeted: “F*** the grammys and everyone associated. Unless you shake hands and send gifts, there’s no nomination considerations. Next year I’ll send you a basket of confectionary.”

He later added: “My tweet was not personal or about eligibility but was about the need for inclusion and the lack of transparency of the nomination process and the space that creates and allows favoritism, racism, and netwokring politics to influence the voting process.”

Nobody Is Listening arrived in January to generally lukewarm reviews. It peaked at 17 in the UK albums chart.

Eligibility for the 2021 Grammys ended in August, meaning Malik’s latest effort would qualify for next year’s ceremony.

He is not the only high-profile artist to go public with criticism of the Grammys, which are widely seen as the music industry’s premier awards show.

Canadian R&B superstar The Weeknd enjoyed a wildly successful 2020 but found himself completely shutout of the nominations when they were announced in November.

Speaking at the time, he said: “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…”

Pop star Halsey, another snubbed star, said: “While I am thrilled for my talented friends who were recognised this year, I am hoping for more transparency or reform.”

Taylor Swift, BTS, Cardi B and Billie Eilish are among the stars set to perform at the 63rd Grammys Awards, which will take place in Los Angeles on Sunday.

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