Drake snubs Juno awards, slams Grammys: ‘Show doesn’t dictate s***’

‘All you incredible artists remember this show isn’t the facts’

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When the Juno nominations were announced Tuesday, one Canadian artist — perhaps the biggest of them all — wasn’t among the nominees.

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Drake, who was eligible to be nominated for last year’s chart-topping For All the Dogs record, did not submit the album to the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (CARAS), the industry nonprofit which puts on the Juno Awards.

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The Toronto rapper’s latest releases — Her Loss and For All the Dogs — came out during the eligibility period with the deadline for submissions on Nov. 2, 2023. The 53rd Annual Juno Awards air live on CBC from Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre on March 24.

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“The record was not submitted for consideration this year,” a rep for the Junos told Postmedia in an email. “Artists are nominated and selected for JUNO Awards based on several factors, including, artistic excellence, commercial success, critical acclaim, innovation, contributions to the Canadian music industry, live performances, music video accomplishments, and overall impact. The criteria varies by category; however, each category undergoes a thorough selection process that involves voting by industry professionals who are members of CARAS.”

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Drake also did not submit 2018’s Scorpion for consideration, but Wondagurl was nominated as producer of the year for her work on the Certified Lover Boy track Fair Trade in 2022.

In 2011, when Drake hosted the awards show in Toronto, he was the evening’s most-nominated performer, but won zero trophies.

Dalton Higgins, author of Far From Over: The Music and Life of Drake, said Drake didn’t forget the slight.

“It was also the first time in the 40 year history of the awards that a musician who agreed to host the show and had nominated music didn’t win at least one award,” he said in an email to CBC News.

“In Canada’s ‘urban’ music scene, the feeling has always been that Drake got snubbed at the 40th edition of the Awards show,” Higgins added in a follow-up message to Variety. “He got six nominations, was the leading rap artist in North America, never mind Canada, and won nothing in his home country. How bizarre was that? … It was also the first time in the history of the Awards that a musician who agreed to host the show and had nominated music didn’t win at least one award. When acts like Nelly Furtado, Shania Twain, Celine Dion hosted the Junos, they won 12 awards combined … It felt like a massive slap in the face to both him, and some other powerful entities in the Canadian music biz.”

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Drake has had a somewhat antagonistic relationship with awards shows in general. The Hotline Bling hitmaker has seven Juno trophies on his shelf (good enough for 44th overall among all Canadian artists) and five Grammys.

But he has lashed out at the notion of a secretive body being the arbiters deciding what constitutes good music. During Sunday’s Grammys, he took to social media to let his fans know he doesn’t care about the awards (despite being nominated for Her Loss).

“All you incredible artists remember this show isn’t the facts — it’s just the opinion of a group of people whose names are kept a secret,” he wrote on his Instagram Stories. “Literally. You can Google it. Congrats to anybody winning anything for hip hop, but this show doesn’t dictate s*** in our world.”

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His words appeared over a photo of himself at the 2019 ceremony accepting an award during which he used his speech to question why musicians clamor for the music trophy in the first place.

“We play in an opinion-based sport, not a factual-based sport,” he said at the time. “It is not the NBA … This is a business where sometimes it is up to a bunch of people that might not understand what a mixed-race kid from Canada has to say … or a brother from Houston right there, my brother Travis. You’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you are a hero in your hometown. If there is people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain, in the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows, you don’t need this right here, I promise you, you already won.”

When he was named Billboard’s Artist of the Decade in 2021, he told fans “I rarely ever celebrate anything.”

“For anyone watching this wondering how this happened, that’s really the answer — it’s being so unsure how you’re getting it done that you just kinda keep going in the hopes of figuring out the formula,” he said.

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