With a huge new album, two No. 1 singles, festival headlining slots and a massive fall headlining tour about to begin, the Weeknd has unquestionably enjoyed a breakout year in 2015. Unfortunately, the R&B singer-songwriter won’t be spinning that recent dominance into a best new artist nomination at the 2016 Grammy awards.
Fuse has learned that the Weeknd’s name was not submitted in the best new artist category because the 25-year-old (real name: Abel Tesfaye) is ineligible to compete in the field… due to a previous nomination. In 2014, “Remember You,” Wiz Khalifa’s single featuring the Weeknd, was nominated for best rap/sung collaboration (it lost to Jay Z and Justin Timberlake’s “Holy Grail”), and that nom prevents the Weeknd from competing for best new artist.
According to the Grammys’ official best new artist rules explainer, “A GRAMMY nomination in a performance category in a prior year disqualifies an artist from competing in this [best new artist] category, unless the nomination came from a single or a guest spot on another artist's recording, and the artist hadn't yet released a full album.” So, the Weeknd’s guest spot on Khalifa’s song doesn’t hurt him, but the fact that he already had a solo album released at that point (2013’s Kiss Land) disqualifies the R&B star.
The Weeknd can take solace in the fact that Beauty Behind The Madness, released last August, is a strong album of the year contender, while “Can’t Feel My Face” should be a shoo-in for either song of the year or record of the year (the latter is probably more likely). Also keeping Abel happy: “The Hills” spends a sixth week at No. 1 on this week’s Hot 100 chart.
The 2016 Grammy nominations will be announced on Dec. 7. Read more about another front-runner, Taylor Swift’s 1989, which is celebrating its first birthday today.