Ariana Grande is unloading her GRAMMYs baggage — and whoa, was there A LOT of tea spilled!
When the list of performers for the 2019 GRAMMY Awards were released days ago, one particular arstist’s absence from the lineup was very, very noticeable: Ariana Grande. Ari, after all, had an incredible year in the music scene.
In fact, the 25-year-old star has two nominations for this year’s upcoming ceremony – Best Pop Solo Performance for “God Is A Woman” and Best Pop Vocal Album for Sweetener.
On Tuesday (February 5), it was reported by Variety that Ariana felt “insulted” when producers did not allow her to perform her latest single, “7 Rings” from her brand new album Thank U, Next. Variety went on to say that Ariana and the producers eventually reached a compromise – that she perform “7 Rings” as part of a medley/set of songs. But after all that, she decided against performing when the producers said they were the ones who would pick the second song she would be performing.
When GRAMMYs producer Ken Ehrlich was asked why Ariana isn’t performing, he told the Associated Press that they had a month-long discussion with Ariana but she ultimately felt it “was too late for her to pull something together.”
Well, his statements got back to Ari – and she was NOT happy.
She took to social media to address all that’s being said, and call out the GRAMMYs for “lying” about her. On Twitter, Ari reposted the Associated Press article, and captioned it:
“mhmmm here it is! ‘too late for her to pull something together……’”
She also wrote the following statement in response to what Ken said:
“i’ve kept my mouth shut but now you’re lying about me. i can pull together a performance over night and you know that, Ken. it was when my creativity & self expression was stifled by you, that i decided not to attend. i hope the show is exactly what you want it to be and more.”
Ari then went on to reveal:
“i offered 3 different songs. it’s about collaboration. it’s about feeling supported. it’s about art and honesty. not politics. not doing favors or playing games.
it’s just a game y’all.. and i’m sorry but that’s not what music is to me.”
Her next tweet said:
“passed a Grammy’s bus with my face on it typing those.”
Before concluding with these words:
“hope that helps everyone understand my decision. I am still grateful for the acknowledgement this year.”
ET’s Keltie Knight was able to speak with Ken on Thursday (February 07), and during the conversation, he revealed that discussions with Ariana actually did not get very far. He also stated that artists are generally not encouraged to perform new songs because it may give them the edge for a GRAMMY the next year when the song becomes eligible for nomination.
Ken declared to ET:
“I don’t know that she backed out, I think that’s pushing it. We never got quite to that point. We talked about having her as a part of the show, we did make an offer. As has been reported, there were some things that, you know, ‘7 Rings’ is a new song. We discourage artists from doing new songs, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is then that song has a leg up in someone’s mind for next year.
So, sometimes we do it, but we then ask an artist to do something that is nominated so that the tie is made, and it works together.
We never got that far with her, and it’s too bad. I wish her well, I’ve worked with her a number of times over the years, and let’s hope we see you next year.”
Recording Academy President Neil Portnow also spoke to ET about the Ariana situation:
“We love Ariana. And she’s a great artist, and she’s been on many of our shows and she’s very appropriately nominated this year, but you know, in putting all of these things together, there’s always a lot of moving pieces and parts.
But, I’ll go back to my earlier statement, we don’t wrap this show ’til Sunday morning, and so lots of things can happen and we’ll see where we go.”
Hmm, let’s see where this all goes, indeed.