Mabel defends The Weeknd after Grammys snub: “He’s had an incredible year”

"Awards aren't the be-all and end all, even if I think he deserves one"

Mabel has become the latest star to defend The Weeknd after the singer controversially failed to bag a single Grammy nomination.

The ‘Blinding Lights’ singer – real name Abel Tesfaye – hit out at the Recording Academy last week (November 24) after his latest album ‘After Hours’ and its singles were overlooked for the 2021 ceremony.

He was subsequently defended by Elton John, who said the ‘Blinding Lights’ singer had made the “song of the year”, and Drake – who said that his omission showed “the disconnect between impactful music and these awards”.

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Speaking to NME, Mabel explained that while The Weeknd deserved to be nominated it would not be seen as a definitive dent on his huge success this year.

“For sure he deserves it, he’s had an incredible year and that album, stats-wise, is just amazing,” she said.

“The Grammys obviously is something that we as artists look to as the Holy Grail and y’know, it would be something that I’m aiming for, but as fantastic as it is, it doesn’t take away from the fact that The Weeknd has had an amazing year and he’s put out incredible music.

“Just because he doesn’t have a Grammy nomination it doesn’t mean that his music doesn’t mean anything, and I think that’s important to recognise as an artist. It doesn’t mean that people don’t love your music and it doesn’t mean it was all for nothing. Regardless of the nomination, he is an incredible artist and that album is amazing.”

Describing his absence from the nominations as “strange”, Mabel went on: “I don’t make the rules and I don’t know the reasoning behind it, but Drake put a statement on his Instagram basically saying that just because he wasn’t nominated, it doesn’t mean he isn’t a legend.

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“It is important to remind ourselves that awards aren’t the be-all and end all, even if I think he deserves one.”

Mabel’s comments come after her own success at awards shows this year, having scooped the 2020 Brit Award for Best Female Artist.

Asked about plans for new music, she explained: “I’ve been making music, although there’s no specifics I can talk about yet. I’ve been using this year to reflect and elevate myself as a performer and a writer.

“I’ve been thinking about my next moves, so there’s definitely new stuff coming. I’ve been trying to see this year as positive as I can, that I’ve been given time to work on my creativity and I’ve made some of my best music so far, so I’m just excited for people to hear it.”

Mabel was speaking to NME to promote her involvement in Google’s Nest Audio Sessions, which has seen her perform a selection of tracks alongside the likes of Ella Mai, Jessie Reyez, BENEE and Tove Lo. To access the full compilation from all nine artists, say “Hey Google, play Nest Audio Sessions on YouTube Music”.

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