Drake withdraws from 2022 Grammy consideration after getting 2 nominations

The organization behind the Grammys says Drake is taking himself out of contention for the celebrated music awards.

Representatives for Toronto rapper declined to comment; reason remains unclear

Toronto rapper Drake is seen at an NBA game in Los Angeles on May 19. A representative for the Recording Academy, the organization behind the Grammy Awards, said Monday it had withdrawn Drake's two nominations at the request of the rapper and his management. (Mark J. Terrill/The Associated Press)

Drake is dropping out of the Grammys race, the organization behind the awards confirmed on Monday, marking another twist in the Toronto-raised artist's contentious relationship with the music prize.

A representative for the Recording Academy said it withdrew Drake's two nominations at the request of the rapper and his management.

Drake was up for best rap album with Certified Lover Boy, and his track with Future and Young Thug, Way 2 Sexy, was in the running for best rap performance.

The academy representative said Drake would be removed from the ballot as the final round of voting opened on Monday.

Representatives for the rapper, born Aubrey Graham, declined to comment on the record, and his reasons for pulling out were unclear.

Contentious history

Drake has a patchy history with the Grammys, despite having won four trophies and racking up dozens more nominations.

He rose to the Weeknd's defence after the fellow Toronto native was snubbed by the Grammys last year, writing on Instagram that the awards "no longer matter" and suggesting it was time to "start something new."

In 2018, Drake decided not to submit his album More Life for consideration.

He upended expectations a year later by showing up at the ceremony to accept the best rap song title. While holding his trophy, he told the audience that winning awards wasn't necessary as long as musicians have fans showing up to their live shows.

"It's not the NBA where at the end of the year you're holding a trophy because you made the right decisions and won the games," he said.

"This is a business where sometimes it's up to a bunch of people that might not understand what a mixed-race kid from Canada has to say or a fly Spanish girl from New York or anybody else."

Drake accepts the award for best rap song for God's Plan during the 61st Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in February 2019. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

The Weeknd said he would no longer let his label submit his music for consideration after his chart-topping album "After Hours" and smash single "Blinding Lights" failed to net a single nomination last year.

Nevertheless, the Toronto R&B singer, born Abel Tesfaye, surprised with three nominations this year, for collaborations including a turn alongside Lil Baby on Kanye West's Hurricane, up for best melodic rap performance, and appearances on Doja Cat's deluxe edition Planet Her and West's Donda in the best album category.

Justin Bieber is Canada's leading nominee this year with eight nods, but he, too, has expressed displeasure with the Grammys. Last year, he complained that his songs were nominated in pop categories when he considered them to be R&B music.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.



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