Wait a minute, did Zayn Malik just throw some major shade towards his ex One Direction bandmate Harry Styles?! Many fans are convinced that he did, after he called out The Grammys for being biased with their nominations.
“F**k The Grammys and everyone associated,” he wrote on Twitter. “Unless you shake hands and send gifts, there’s no nomination considerations. Next year I’ll send you a basket of confectionary.”
So what does that have to do with Styles, you ask? Well, he is nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Music Video this year, and he will aslo be performing at the awards show on Sunday, March 14. So was his message directed towards the “Watermelon Sugar” crooner or someone else? And where does their relationship stand now, almost six years after Malik left the band? Here’s what you need to know…
Zayn Malik’s Album Was Not Eligible For A Grammy Nomination
For those who don’t know, Malik released a new album, called No One Is Listening, in January 2021. Now, his LP unfortunately couldn’t be nominated for a Grammy this year, since it actually missed the cut off — the window to be nominated for an award closed at the end of September. And the singer made sure to clear the air, and let everyone know that his message wasn’t about his own music.
“My tweet was not personal or about eligibility but was about the need for inclusion and the lack of transparency of the nomination process and the space that creates and allows favoritism, racism, and networking politics to influence the voting process,” he added in a second tweet, hours later.
My tweet was not personal or about eligibility but was about the need for inclusion and the lack of transparency of the nomination process and the space that creates and allows favoritism, racism, and netwokring politics to influence the voting process— zayn (@zaynmalik) March 10, 2021
Some People Think The Tweet Was About Harry Styles, While Others Disagree
Naturally, some people started to speculate that his message was directed towards Styles and the other nominees.
“I agree with you but let’s not act like you’re not jealous of Harry being nominated!” one fan responded. Another added, “His post does imply that everyone else who was nominated kissed a** and paid for a nomination. It may be true for some of the artists (because come on we all know what goes on) but it’s still throwing everyone under the bus.”
I agree with you but let’s not act like you’re not jealous of Harry being nominated!!— سيف الله (@Abderx23) March 9, 2021
“Instead [of supporting] your old friend H (or former bandmate), you tweet this! It’s first time that Harry [is nominated] for a Grammy and he is going to perform ‘Watermelon Sugar.’ You know what exactly your tweet means for everyone… Zayn shades Harry!” a third fan tweeted.
Instead you support your old friend H (or ex friend or former bandmate or someone who never really talked to him) you tweet this!— بوفِ کوچک (@booffwo) March 9, 2021
It's first time that Harry nominees for grammy and he going to perform WS you know what exactly your tweet means for everyone... Zayn shades Harry!/
A few fans even pointed out that Styles is close friends with Ben Winston, who is the executive producer of the Grammys this year. Others, on the other hand, are convinced that his tweets were directed towards the Grammys as a whole, and not the nominees.
“Zayn did NOT throw shade at Harry, The Grammys are corrupt and rigged asf,” a Twitter user wrote. “Talented artists are thrown under the carpet. Grammys shouldn’t be hyped as much as they are. Grammys are s**t. Zayn and Harry are both equally talented artists. Have a good day.”
Another added, “Yes, Harry has Grammy nominations and is performing. ZAYN IS CALLING OUT THE GRAMMYS AND THE INDUSTRY not individual artists who were nominated. We need to recognize the corruption of The Grammys but still be proud of our faves and support them when they get nominated or win.”
zayn is not “throwing shade” at harry, hes calling out a real problem that stops so many incredible artist from getting the recognition they deserve. SO DONT MAKE THIS ABOUT HIM. We can all still support him & his nominations. just pls recognize the lack of fairness and diversity— drey♡︎ LOVE LOVE LOVE (@hellokittiesbff) March 9, 2021
He’s Not The Only Star To Call Out The Grammys
It turns out, Malik is not the only one to slam the Grammys online. Back when the nominees were first announced, The Weeknd — whose new album After Hours slayed the charts last year —didn’t make the list, and he was not happy about it. The singer fired back in a tweet, “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…”
The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency...— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) November 25, 2020
Niall Horan also got involved. He tweeted “snubbed” with a bunch of emojis, but he added that he was just “kidding.”
SNUBBED 🤣😀😜 jokinggggg— Niall Horan (@NiallOfficial) November 25, 2020
Plus, Nicki Minaj also shaded the Academy, writing, “Never forget the Grammys didn’t give me my Best New Artist award when I had seven songs simultaneously charting on Billboard and bigger first week than any female rapper in the last decade — went on to inspire a generation. They gave it to the white man Bon Iver. #PinkFriday” Yikes!
Never forget the Grammys didn’t give me my best new artist award when I had 7 songs simultaneously charting on billboard & bigger first week than any female rapper in the last decade- went on to inspire a generation. They gave it to the white man Bon Iver. #PinkFriday— Mrs. Petty (@NICKIMINAJ) November 24, 2020
Zayn Malik And Harry Styles Have A Strained Relationship
For those who forgot, Malik shocked the world when he announced that he was leaving the band in March 2015. And afterwards, he didn’t have the nicest things to say about his time in the group.
“I think I always kind of wanted to go. From like the first year really, I never really wanted to be there in the band,” he once admitted. “I just gave it a go because it was there at the time and then when I realized the direction we were going in with the music, I instantly realized it wasn’t for me because I realized I couldn’t put any input in. I couldn’t give my opinion on this or that because it didn’t fit the grain of what we were as a band or what we represented. So that’s when it became frustrating for me, that’s when I had to be like, ‘I’ve got to start thinking about myself.’”
He also claimed he left the band with “zero friends,” and dissed their music on numerous occasions.
“That’s not music that I would listen to. Would you listen to One Direction, sat at a party with your girl? I wouldn’t,” the now-27-year-old told Fader Magazine a few months after his departure. “To me, that’s not an insult, that’s me as a 22-year-old man. As much as I was in that band, and I loved everything that we did, that’s not music that I would listen to. I don’t think that’s an offensive statement to make. That’s just not who I am. If I was sat at a dinner date with a girl, I would play some cool shit, you know what I mean? I want to make music that I think is cool shit. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.”
And when asked where his relationship stood with Styles in 2017, he admitted that they weren’t very close.
“To be honest, I never really spoke to Harry even when I was in the band. So I didn’t really expect that much of a relationship with him,” the musician told Us Weekly.
Plus, while appearing on Saturday Night Live in November 2019, Styles completely shaded his former bandmate.
“Ringo, yeah that’s it,” he added.