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Despite scoring three nominations (and two wins already), singer-songwriter Fiona Apple will not be present at the 2021 Grammy Awards.
On Twitter, the musician explained her decision Sunday not to join her fellow nominees, who were given the option to attend this year's ceremony in person amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple is nominated for rock performance ("Shameika"), rock song ("Shameika") and alternative music album ("Fetch the Bolt Cutters").
"It's not because I'm trying to protest, even though I have problems with the Grammys," Apple explained in a video shared by her friend Zelda Hallman. "It's just really because I don't want to be on national television. I'm just not made for that kind of stuff anymore. I want to stay sober, and I can't do that sober.
"It doesn't feel safe to me to be in that kind of exposure scrutiny, comparison to people ... I don't want to do it, so I'm not doing it. But that said, I hope that everybody who is into the Grammys has a wonderful time watching them, a wonderful time enjoying all the performances and I hope other people who want to win, win."
After vaguely acknowledging some of the controversy surrounding the Recording Academy, Apple revealed her true priorities and encouraged fans to sign a petition supporting virtual access to court proceedings in Prince George's County, Md., where she and others keep up with court activity online.
"They're trying to shut us out, and you've gotta question it," Apple continued. "Why are you trying to shut us out? What don't you want us to see? There's people who are being held pre-trial on nonviolent charges on bonds they can't afford ... and it's ruining families and f—ing with futures that we need to help protect."
Hosted by comedian Trevor Noah, the Grammys telecast will go forward without an audience this year because of the ongoing public health crisis. Among the top nominees are Beyoncé, Dua Lipa, Roddy Ricch and Taylor Swift.
"Black Is King" artist Beyoncé leads the pack with nine nominations, including record and song of the year for her Juneteenth single "Black Parade." Lipa and Swift are close behind with six nominations apiece and are both in the running for album of the year with "Future Nostalgia" and "Folklore," respectively. Ricch also landed six nominations, including record and song of the year.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.