SZA’s Manager Calls MTV VMA Artist of the Year ‘Disrespectful’ – The Hollywood Reporter

When the MTV Video Music Awards announced their nominations last month, no one was surprised when Taylor Swift and SZA were the top contenders. But heads turned when SZA’s name disappeared from the Artist of the Year category after the star released one of the best albums of the year with SOSa critical and commercial success.

“She’s clearly had one of the best years, if not the best, of any artist at this point. I don’t understand why she’s not nominated for Artist of the Year. It just didn’t make sense to me. Respectable”. Hollywood Reporter In an interview.

Nominees for Artist of the Year include Beyoncé, Shakira, Nicki Minaj, Karol G, Doja Cat and Swift, who won the award at Tuesday night’s show.

Punch is the co-president of Top Dawg Entertainment, home to acts such as ScHoolBoy Q, Jay Rock, Doechii, SiR and former client Kendrick Lamar. He says he contacted MTV about the rejection — on a call about a potential performance by SZA at the awards show — but “they couldn’t give a clear answer as to why she wouldn’t do it.” [nominated]. It was just, “Okay, she got nominated for all these other ones.” [awards]“.”

“And they ended up saying, ‘Okay, we can make another call,’ because there were people on the phone [the call] About the logistics of the show that had nothing to do with it [the nominations]. When we tried to make a second call, they didn’t want to discuss the artist of the year, which for me was like a slap in the face.

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SZA’s epic year included 10 weeks atop Billboard’s 200 albums chart with SOS, which made history as the longest-running No. 1 of the 21st century to date on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart. Her sophomore project, which was released in December and has already achieved triple-platinum success, spawned five top 10 hits on the all-genre Hot 100 chart, including “Kill Bill,” which reached No. 1. Her current single, “Snooze,” spends its eighth week at the top of the R&B charts and is at No. 7 on the Hot 100.

Why wasn’t she nominated for Artist of the Year? Even with the other artists nominated for Entertainer of the Year, some were out of the loop. They didn’t have an album. I mean no disrespect to them or anyone else; Everyone’s great and all that, but still, you can’t discredit something SOS She did and is currently doing.”

MTV did not respond to emails from THR When asked how the network chose the nominees for Artist of the Year.

SZA’s VMA nominations included Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best R&B, which she won for the hit song “Shirt.” But MTV’s failure to resolve the issue did not sit well with SZA’s manager. “I thought, ‘Why would I go and do that if she’s not going to be respected at the highest level?’ So, it was my call to actually walk away from the show.

SZA did not attend the VMAs and Punch noted that the singer is “a very nice person and she doesn’t buy into all the bullshit and the politics and the controversies and all that. So our feelings might be a little bit different.”

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“But at the end of the day, I felt it was disrespectful and I was very strict about it and affecting him,” he adds. If there are any issues or backlash and all that, I’ll take care of all that.

The VMAs have been called out in the past for snubbing major acts. The awards ceremony made headlines in 2017 when it was shown The famous song “Despacito” failed to be nominated. By Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee; At the time, the song’s music video became YouTube’s most viewed clip of all time by surpassing three billion views. This year, fans have rallied around R&B singer Victoria Monet, who has written several songs for Ariana Grande and is having a moment with the hip-hop-flavored single “On My Mama,” but male That MTV told its team that “it’s too early to have this opportunity in my story.”

SZA has received 15 Grammy Award nominations and won the Grammy Award for Best Pop/Duo Performance for “Kiss Me More” with Doja Cat. It is expected to be the main contender at the 2024 Grammy Awards; Nominations will be revealed on November 10.

“The awards aren’t the only reason we do this. We do this for the people, for the fans. The awards come with that. That’s just a byproduct,” Bunch says.

On Friday, two new songs from SZA were released: She Dropped a Song Acoustic version of the song “Snooze” featuring Justin Bieber, Who starred in the music video for the hit song, while Drake released his new single with the help of SZA, “Slime you’re out.”

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SZA is planning to release a deluxe version of SOS Days before the VMAs, she performed her hits as well as tracks from her upcoming luxury project at a free concert for nearly 2,000 fans at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York.

“It was about giving back to the fans — getting out there to do a free show and showing love to the people who show love to it,” Bunch says.

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