Zayn Malik lashes out at Grammy Awards voters

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Zayn MalikImage source, Getty Images
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Malik, pictured at the 2018 Grammys, is not eligible for this year's awards

Zayn Malik has delivered an angry message to the Grammy Awards, five days before this year's music ceremony is due 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," the star tweeted.

Malik has never been nominated, either as a solo act or with One Direction.

Image source, @ZaynMalik/Twitter

Malik's latest album wasn't eligible for this year's Grammys because it came out after the cut-off date in August.

In a subsequent tweet, the British singer clarified that his comments were "not personal or about eligibility".

Instead, he said 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".

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His comments echo those of The Weeknd, who accused Grammys organisers of being "corrupt" after he was snubbed in this year's nominations.

The star's hit single Blinding Lights has now spent a record-breaking 52 weeks in the US top 10, and he was widely expected to be among the main contenders. Instead, he was overlooked in all 84 categories.

The Canadian singer, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, called it "an attack".

"I'm not a cocky person. I'm not arrogant. People told me I was going to get nominated. The world told me," he told Billboard magazine. "We were all very confused."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The Weeknd had last year's biggest hit with Blinding Lights

'Serious irregularities'

The Grammys voting procedure is notoriously complex, with review committees having the final say in 72 categories - meaning they can overrule the votes of rank-and-file members.

Last year, the chief executive of the Recording Academy - which organises the ceremony - claimed to have evidence of "serious" irregularities in the voting.

Deborah Dugan made her claims after being placed on administrative leave after allegations of misconduct.

She said her removal was retaliation for speaking up against misconduct within the organisation, including sexual harassment and corrupt voting procedures.

Malik has had a turbulent history with the Grammys, after being disqualified from the best new artist category in 2017 because of his prior success with One Direction.

"This was actually pretty clear cut," Bill Freimuth, chief awards officer at the Recording Academy, said at the time.

Malik's duet with Taylor Swift, I Don't Wanna Live Forever, from the movie Fifty Shades Darker, did receive a nomination for best song written for visual media in 2018. However, that award recognises the songwriters (in this case Swift, Jack Antonoff and Sam Dew) rather than the performers.

The star's third album, Nobody Is Listening, which came out in January, will be eligible for consideration next year. However, it failed to make the US top 40.

The 63rd Grammys Ceremony will take place in Los Angeles on Sunday, 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.

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