Billboard has reached out to the Recording Academy for comment.
Zayn and Taylor Swift’s collaboration “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” from the film Fifty Shades Darker received a 2018 Grammy nomination for best song written for visual media, but had it won, the award would have technically been given to credited songwriters Swift, Jack Antonoff and Sam Dew. He was passed over for a best new artist nod in 2017 because of his globe-trotting successful run with One Direction, one of the best known pop groups of the last decade that has surprisingly never received a single Grammy nomination.
“This was actually pretty clear cut given the international success of One Direction. It’s been a few years since Zayn Malik came to prominence as a member of that group, making him ineligible for the best new artist category this year,” Bill Freimuth, former senior vice president of awards and current chief awards officer at the Recording Academy, said at the time.
The eligibility period for the 2021 Grammys began on Sept. 1, 2019, and ended on Aug. 31, 2020. Zayn’s third studio effort, Nobody Is Listening, could not have received any Grammy nominations since it was released on Jan. 15, 2021. Not even its first single, “Better,” would have qualified since it came out on Sept. 25, 2020, one month after the Grammys eligibility period ended.
Only one former 1D member is up for his very first slew of Grammy nods this year, and it’s Harry Styles. He’s nominated in three categories: best pop solo performance for his first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit “Watermelon Sugar,” best pop vocal album for his sophomore album Fine Line, and best music video for “Adore You.”
The 63rd annual Grammy Awards will air live on Sunday (Mar. 14) at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS, Paramount+ and Grammy.com. Online viewers can also stream CBS with free trials on fuboTV and Sling TV. Billboard may receive affiliate commission through links on our site.