grammys 2021

Justin Bieber Would Like the Grammys to Recognize Him As an R&B Artist

Grammys, this is the face of R&B. Photo: WireImage

In news that will maybe make you wince with secondhand embarrassment, Justin Bieber has taken to social media to disparage the Grammys for [checks notes] … calling him a pop-star? Bieber picked up four Grammy nominations this year for Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop/Duo Group Performance, and Best Country Duo/Group Performance, but was not happy with the pop music classification, writing on Instagram, “I am very meticulous and intentional about my music. With that being said I set out to make an R&B album. Changes was and is an R&B album. It is not being acknowledged as an R&B album which is very strange to me.”

While there were indeed plenty of unexplainable choices in this year’s crop of nominations, it’s safe to say that Bieber’s designation as a pop artist was not all that surprising. Nevertheless, Bieber writes, “I grew up admiring R&B music and wished to make a project that would embody that sound. For this not to be put into that category feels weird.” He goes on to explain that the musical choices he made on Changes, and specifically the “hip hop drums” (?!), set it apart as an R&B album. Bieber added in his caption, “Please don’t mistake this as me being ungrateful, these are just my thoughts take em or leave em.” Well, okay!

Update, November 25: Interim president of the Recording Academy and permanent president of slightly shady press comments, Harvey Mason Jr., responded to Bieber’s Grammys criticisms in an interview with Pitchfork. “If he felt that was that type of a record, then, you know … I’ll just leave it at that,” Mason said.

Justin Bieber Would Prefer R&B Grammy Nominations