Justin Bieber is setting the record straight on which genre Changes belongs to after his fifth album received a Grammy nomination Tuesday (Nov. 24) for best pop vocal album.
He wrote a short letter to the Recording Academy on Instagram the day nominations for the 2021 Grammys were revealed, stating how his mission to make an R&B album was not honored properly by being placed in this category.
“To the Grammys I am flattered to be acknowledged and appreciated for my artistry. 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,” he started. “It is not being acknowledged as an R&B album which is very strange to me. I grew up admiring R&B music and wished to make a project that would embody that sound.”
The 26-year-old superstar continued: “For this not to be put into that category feels weird considering from the chords to the melodies to the vocal style all the way down to the hip hop drums that were chosen it is undeniably, unmistakably an R&B Album! To be clear I absolutely love Pop music it just wasn’t what I set out to make this time around. My gratitude for feeling respected for my work remains and I am honored to be nominated either way.”
Bieber has switched between pop and R&B production throughout his decade-long career, with his second compilation album from 2013, Journals, ushering in the R&Bieber era. He purposefully distinguished the genre switch in the follow-up project to his 2015 pop/dance album Purpose. “Not pop. r&bieber,” he tweeted earlier this year before Changes dropped on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14).
Not pop. r&bieber @poobear
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) January 2, 2020
Bieber isn’t the only artist dissatisfied with the Academy’s selections in the R&B categories. Teyana Taylor, who recently graced the cover of Billboard‘s R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players issue and discussed the importance of women in R&B in a roundtable conversation with Kehlani, Jhené Aiko and Summer Walker, took to Twitter to express her frustration over the male-dominated best R&B album category.
“Y’all was better off just saying best MALE R&B ALBUM cause all I see is di– in this category,” she wrote while resharing the Academy’s announcement of the five male nominees’ projects. Taylor, Kehlani and Walker all did not receive Grammy nominations this year, but Aiko earned three, including one in the Big Four category of album of the year for Chilombo.
Y’all was better off just saying best MALE R&B ALBUM cause all I see is dick in this category. https://t.co/LlL769FbTR
— TEYANA M.J. SHUMPERT (@TEYANATAYLOR) November 24, 2020
Bieber received three more Grammy nominations for best pop solo performance (“Yummy”), best pop duo/group performance (“Intentions,” feat. Quavo) and best country duo/group performance (“10,000 Hours” with Dan + Shay). He now has 14 total nominations since his debut 10 years ago at the 53rd annual Grammys.
See Bieber’s IG missive here.