Though Blonde and Endless were released before the 2017 Grammy eligibility cutoff date of September 30, a source has confirmed with Billboard that neither were submitted for consideration by Frank Ocean‘s reps, label, or management.
“‘Blonde’ (also known as ‘Blond’) — which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for the week ending August 25 with 276,000 equivalent-album units, the third-largest total of the year — was released on Ocean’s own Boys Don’t Cry imprint, although many traditional label functions for the still digital-only release were handled by Apple Music. Whether the album was intentionally not submitted for the Grammys or an oversight took place — which may have been the case last year with Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling,’ which also was not submitted — was unclear at press time.”
Was the snub intentional?
This wouldn’t be the first time Ocean’s finessed an independent release. In 2011 — one year after his deal with Def Jam was made official — he released his acclaimed mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra, outside the bounds of his contract. Though Def Jam was in talks to officially re-release the project through the label, those plans never saw the light of day. Endless, the visual album that preceded Blonde just a day prior, reportedly fulfilled the terms of his deal with Def Jam.
Billboard reached out to Ocean’s reps, but they’ve yet to respond to their request for comments.
The Grammy Awards will air on CBS on February 12, 2017.
SOURCE: Billboard | PHOTO CREDIT: Andrew Chin / Getty