Drake’s management has asked the Recording Academy to remove him as a nominee on the final-round ballot for the 64th annual Grammy Awards and the Academy has honored the request. (Variety first reported the news.)
Drake was nominated for just two awards this year: best rap album for Certified Lover Boy and best rap performance for “Way 2 Sexy” (featuring Future and Young Thug).
Over the years, Drake has won four Grammys — far fewer than such peers as Jay-Z (23) or Kanye West (22). He has topped five nominations in a year just twice: in 2016 (when he had eight nods) and in 2018 (when he had seven).
Drake has previously expressed disappointment that he has never won a Grammy outside the rap field. His only wins are for Take Care as best rap album (2012), “Hotline Bling” as best rap/sung performance and best rap song (2016), and “God’s Plan” as best rap song (2018).
Certified Lover Boy was passed over for an album of the year nod this year. Only one rap album, West’s DONDA, was nominated in that category. (The Grammys categorized Lil Nas X’s genre-blending Montero as pop.)
Views (2016) and Scorpion (2020), Drake’s two most recent studio albums prior to Certified Lover Boy, were nominated for album of the year. Drake has received just three other nods as a lead artist in Big Four categories. He was nominated for best new artist (2010) and for record and song of the year for “God’s Plan” (2018).
He was also nominated for record of the year as a featured artist on Rihanna’s “Work” (2016) and for album of the year as a featured artist on Beyoncé’s Beyoncé (2014), Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city (2013) and Rihanna’s Loud (2011).
Drake has been a vocal critic of the Grammys. Last year, after fellow superstar (and fellow Canadian) The Weeknd received no nominations, Drake blasted the Grammys on his Instagram Story: “I think we should stop allowing ourselves to be shocked every year by the disconnect between impactful music and these awards and just accept that what once was the highest form of recognition may no longer matter to the artist that exist now and the ones that come after. It’s like a relative you keep expecting to fix up but they just won’t change their ways. The other day I said @theweeknd was a lock for either album or song of the year along with countless other reasonable assumptions and it just never goes that way. This is a great time for somebody to start something new that we can build up overtime and pass on to the generations to come.”
Drake dissed the Grammys during an on-air acceptance speech at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, 2019, when “God’s Plan” won best rap song. “We play an opinion-based sport, not a factual-based sport,” he said. “You already won if you have people singing your songs word for word, if they’re singing in your hometown. You’re already winning, you don’t need this right here.”
Future had no other Grammy nominations this year. Young Thug has two album of the year nominations, as a featured artist on Doja Cat’s Planet Her (Deluxe) and West’s DONDA.
The Recording Academy has already added the Drake changes to its list of changes, which includes this note: “Each year, the Recording Academy makes adjustments to the nominations list as-necessary after the list is first published. Common changes are often the result of updated credits and may include spelling corrections, title modifications, and the addition of nominees who were not included in the original submission, among other revisions. This year, for the first time, we are making these updates public to ensure transparency and accessibility to the most up-to-date and accurate information.”