While L.A. was full of glamour and star power last night for the 2016 Grammy Awards, there were some superstars who were noticeably absent from the festivities.

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Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, and Lauryn Hill all canceled their performances that were set to take place during the televised ceremony. Although each star had her reasons, some wonder whether their absence was due to a boycott of mainstream awards shows by minority artists and entertainers.

Nicki Minaj made it very clear that she wouldn’t be performing this year after a commercial for the show aired that featured her earlier this year. She took to Instagram to clear up any confusion, saying:

“I know I’m in the commercial but I actually won’t be performing. I want to thank the Grammys for being super sweet & supportive & for recognizing The Pinkprint. Maybe next year will make more sense in terms of timing and I’ll create a very special performance for you guys. In the mean time, enjoy the show!”

Though Nicki was nominated for Best Rap Album, she didn’t take home the category.

Rihanna canceled her performance just hours before she was set to hit the stage, citing vocal strain as the cause. The “ANTI” singer showed up at Staples Center and rehearsed, but pulled the plug after being advised by her doctor to not perform, as she was suffering from bronchitis.

Lauryn Hill canceled what was supposed to be a surprise performance with The Weeknd, and left a sour taste in the mouth of The Academy.

“It’s a disappointment to us and a disappointment to her,” said Recording Academy President Neil Portnow. “Our intention was, and we were ready, right up to the moment of the performance, for her to step up on stage.”

Though Lauryn’s team quickly clapped back, saying the whole thing was unorganized and on short notice, making Lauryn uncomfortable:

“The Grammys announced a performance by Ms. Lauryn Hill prematurely and without approval … Any performance that could have happened was never confirmed, and should not have been advertised as such. Ms. Hill was invited to do a collaboration with an artist she appreciates. The performance was intended to be a surprise and unfortunately due to its last minute nature, was unable to come to fruition.”

Tweet us your reactions, @BlameEbro.  Do you think there was some kind of boycott or reasoning behind why everyone cancelled?

About The Author Samantha Callender

Samantha Callender is a multimedia journalist whose work ranges from entertainment journalism to pieces highlighting social issues in multicultural communities. Samantha strives to find intersects between entertainment and social matters, believing that pop culture has the power to not only entertain the masses, but to educate them as well. Her goal when storytelling is to write pieces that serve as a catalyst to prompt dialogue and activism. Her work can be seen on VIBE, The Source, Jet Magazine, The Root, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

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