The Weeknd Talks Grammy Snub, Super Bowl Halftime Show, & Tour

Written by on January 28, 2021

As he gears up for the largest efficiency of his profession at subsequent month’s Tremendous Bowl, The Weeknd is celebrating his meteoric rise with the crew that helped take him there.

The Canadian crooner graces the quilt of Billboard alongside his trusted staff of day ones together with his managers, Wassim “Sal” Slaiby and Amir “Money” Esmailian, and XO artistic director, La Mar C. Taylor.

The tight-knit group displays on the highs and lows of the previous yr together with their shock when The Weeknd acquired no 2021 Grammy nominations regardless of the business and significant success of After Hours.

Wanting again, Abel calls the snub “an assault.” “I exploit a sucker punch as an analogy,” he says. “As a result of it simply form of hit me out of nowhere. I positively felt … I felt issues. I don’t know if it was disappointment or anger. I believe it was simply confusion. I simply needed solutions. Like, ‘What occurred?’ We did every part proper, I believe. I’m not a cocky individual. I’m not smug. Individuals instructed me I used to be going to get nominated. The world instructed me. Like, ‘That is it; that is your yr.’ We had been all very confused.”

The Weeknd acquired messages from “folks I haven’t spoken to in ages, your entire music group, all my friends,” whereas Slaiby known as up interim Recording Academy president Harvey Mason Jr. “I wasn’t mad,” says Slaiby. “I used to be a gentleman. I mentioned ‘Hey, bro, how are you? How’s your day? Our day is shit. What the f**ok simply went down?’”

The Weeknd, whose music was submitted in six Grammy classes, wonders if one thing larger was at play. “In case you had been like, ‘Do you suppose the Grammys are racist?’ I believe the one actual reply is that within the final 61 years of the Grammys, solely 10 Black artists have gained album of the yr,” he says. “I don’t need to make this about me. That’s only a truth.”

However the three-time Grammy winner is able to transfer on. “Look, I personally don’t care anymore,” says Abel. “I’ve three Grammys, which imply nothing to me now, clearly. It’s not like, ‘Oh, I would like the Grammy!’ It’s simply that this occurred, and I’m all the way down to get in entrance of the fireplace, so long as it by no means occurs once more.”

The 30-year-old famous person is now lower than two weeks away from acting on the world’s greatest stage, the Pepsi Tremendous Bowl LV Halftime Present at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The Weeknd is the primary Black artist to headline halftime since Roc Nation partnered with the NFL on final yr’s present, which drew 102 million viewers.

Organizers are protecting all manufacturing prices, however The Weeknd is investing $7 million of his personal cash to “make this halftime present be what he envisioned.” “We’ve been actually specializing in dialing in on the followers at dwelling and making performances a cinematic expertise, and we need to do this with the Tremendous Bowl,” he says.

After the Tremendous Bowl, he plans to hit the street on a summer season/fall 2021 tour, which was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. However he’s uncertain if the tour can be tied to After Hours or his subsequent undertaking. “Is the tour going to be the ‘After Hours’ tour nonetheless? Is it going to be this new album’s tour, with the identical tickets?” he wonders.

One factor he is aware of is that his purple blazer-wearing After Hours persona gained’t be round a yr from now, though he could make an look on tour. “It’s a complete puzzle I’m making an attempt to wrap my head round proper now,” he says.

Forward of his Tremendous Bowl efficiency, he’s set to launch his 18-track album The Highlights on Feb. 5 that includes a few of his most notable hits spanning his decade-long profession.


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