SZA’s Manager Calls Out VMA Artist of the Year Snub

SZA‘s manager is speaking out after she was snubbed in the Artist of the Year category at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards.

The category this year included Beyoncé, Shakira, Nicki Minaj, Karol G, Doja Cat, and Taylor Swift, who ultimately took the victory. SZA‘s absence was surprising, given the incredible success of her album, SOS.

During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, her manager, Terrence “Punch” Henderson, opened up about the disappointing situation.

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“Obviously, she had one of the best years, if not the best year, of any artist at this point,” he said. “I don’t see why she wouldn’t be nominated for artist of the year. It just really didn’t make any sense to me. It’s disrespectful.”

Punch revealed that he reached out to MTV about the cateogry while on a call about a potential SZA performance at the awards show, but “they couldn’t give a clear answer as to why she wasn’t [nominated]. It was just, ‘Well, she’s nominated for all these other [awards].’”

SZA‘s manager continued, “And they ended up saying, ‘OK, well we could do another call’ because there were people on [the call] about logistics for the show who didn’t have anything to do with [the nominations]. When we tried to set up the second call, they didn’t want to discuss artist of the year, which to me was really a slap in the face.”

SOS notably made history as the longest-leading No. 1 of the 21st century so far on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart, and it’s gone triple-platinum. Her hit single, “Kill Bill,” went No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Why wouldn’t she be nominated for artist of the year?” Punch questioned. “Even with the other artists that were nominated for artist of the year, some of them were even off-cycle. They didn’t have an album out. I mean, no disrespect to them or anybody else; everybody’s great and all of that, but still, you can’t discredit what SOS has done and is currently doing.”

SZA did not perform at or attend the award show this year.

Her manager emphasized that she is “a very sweet person and she’s not for all of the nonsense and the politics and the back and forth and all of that. So, our feelings might be a little different.”

“But ultimately,” he said, “I felt it was disrespectful and I was very stern on that and influencing that. If there’s any issues or backlash and all of that, I’m taking all of that.”

SZA has a brand new song with Drake called “Slime You Out.” Check it out!

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