Ahead of his long-awaited Super Bowl LVIII halftime show, the singer sat down with the New York Post and spoke about the Recording Academy not giving Beyoncé her flowers for AOTY, despite her having more Grammys than any other artist with 32 wins. In the same category, Usher has been nominated once for his 2004 magnum opus Confessions.
“To each his own, you know, about what they feel,” he told the Post. “But here’s what I feel: Historically, I think that the Academy, for many years, got it wrong...whether that’s the system that was there or the lack of inclusion or the lack of consideration of the industry.”
Usher continued to discuss how the Recording Academy's failure to give Black artists wins in major categories impacts its audience.
“We watch your show for you to celebrate our artists, and you put us in [top] categories, but then you give it to someone else,” he added. "That's going to obviously effect their viewership."
Jay-Z's statement towards the Recording Academy was long overdue and came one year after Beyoncé lost her third AOTY nomination in a row.
"I don't want to embarrass this young lady but she has more Grammys than everyone and never won Album of the Year," Jay-Z said, referring to his wife during his Dr. Dre Global Impact Award acceptance speech. "So even by your own metrics that doesn't work. Think about that. Most Grammys, never won Album of the Year, that doesn't work."
Despite having a storied 30-year career, Usher can relate having never accepted one of his eight Grammys during the award show's broadcast.
“You’re talking to a winning loser, right? I’ve won eight Grammys, but never walked on the stage once to receive one," he shared. "Out of 30 years of a career, I’ve never walked on the Grammy stage — as many times as I have performed there and supported the Grammys — I’ve never been able just to say, 'Thank you.'"
The "Yeah!" artist has tried moving on from the slight, instead focusing on the biggest performance of his career on Sunday.
“That means something to my fans; it means something to me. But, you know, in time, I kind of grew a little bit more numb," he said. "Like, you know what, maybe I don’t need that, maybe that’s not going to define me."