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.
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.
— Ollie ✌️ (@_MuhammadOLLIE) February 1, 2016
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.
I’m angry y’all ain’t tell me Rihanna canceled last minute due to needin to rest her vocals as if they havent been resting since she was born — The Librarian (@AdrianXpression) February 16, 2016
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.”
I’m still furious that Lauryn Hill canceled her performance at the Grammys!!? Definitely could have been one of the best moments tonight!?
— Brandon Henry (@B__Henz) February 16, 2016
Tweet us your reactions, @BlameEbro. Do you think there was some kind of boycott or reasoning behind why everyone cancelled?