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Drake drops out of Grammy Awards race after receiving two nominations

·2 min read

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.

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."

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.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2021.

Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press

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