Village People's Victor Willis Tells the Weeknd to "Lighten Up" on the Grammys
"On the one occasion the secret committees didn't benefit you, the Grammys are suddenly corrupt, and it's off with their heads?"
Published May 11, 2021When After Hours was shut out of Grammy contention this year, the Weeknd affirmed he would no longer submit music for to the awards for consideration — even after the Recording Academy changed its nomination process. Now, Village People's Victor Willis — a fellow Grammys critic — is asking the Canadian to "lighten up."
In an open letter shared on Facebook, Willis writes to the Weeknd that he is "not handling this in the spirit of black protest of this important issue."
"You see, while black artists like me were making honest complaints about the secret committees, you were busy racking up one Grammy after another under those secret committees," Willis writes, pointing to the Weeknd's three lifetime wins behind 2015's Beauty Behind the Madness and 2018's Starboy.
After Village People's "Y.M.C.A." was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame last December, the vocalist told TMZ that the Recording Academy should "show respect for classic artists who built the recording business." Those comments followed his own claims in 2017 of Grammy "secret committees."
In the open letter, Willis writes, "I don't recall you complaining about the secret committees when you were benefitting from those secret committees. But on the one occasion the secret committees didn't benefit you, the Grammys are suddenly corrupt, and it's off with their heads?
"Under the circumstances, you're much too talented to be pouting about the Grammys. And it seems you're out for blood despite the secret committees being eliminated. Negative."
Willis concludes by defending the Recording Academy's interim CEO Harvey Mason Jr., writing that he is "making real, meaningful and historic changes that will likely benefit the music business for decades to come. Cut the brotha some slack!"
You can read his full post below.
In a statement shared with the New York Times earlier this month, the Weeknd responded to the change in nomination process by stating he will continue to avoid the "plagued award."
He said, in full, "Even though I won't be submitting my music, the Grammys' recent admission of corruption will hopefully be a positive move for the future of this plagued award and give the artist community the respect it deserves with a transparent voting process."