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TDE's Punch Explains Reason For Pulling SZA's 2023 MTV VMAs Performance

  /  09.16.2023

After the curtains fell on this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, TDE label head Punch broke his silence on the noticeable absence of SZA from both the attendee list and the performance lineup. 

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Friday (Sept. 15), he delineated the reasons behind the critical decision, which revolved around a perceived snub of the star in the Artist of the Year category.

“Obviously, she had one of the best years, if not the best year, of any artist at this point. 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 said.

The Top Dawg Entertainment co-president expressed his disbelief and disappointment at SZA’s omission from a category that bore names like Beyoncé, Shakira, Nicki Minaj, Karol G, Doja Cat, and the ultimate winner, Taylor Swift. 

He added, “And they ended up saying, ‘Okay, 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.”

Elsewhere, Punch explained, “Why wouldn’t she be nominated for Artist of the Year? 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.”

The “Good Days” singer not only rode waves of success in the charts thanks to SOS but also dazzled in her debut arena tour.

Next week, SZA will be kicking off the second leg of her North American “SOS Tour with opening act d4vd. Starting on Sept. 20 in Miami, the show run is slated to make stops in Toronto, Nashville, Los Angeles, and Houston before concluding in Phoenix on Oct. 29.


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