Bad news for everyone (me!) who looked forward to ““barbecue grill finger ♡”’s first night on the red carpet: Ariana Grande will NOT be attending the Grammy Awards.
According to Variety, Grande, who was supposed to perform at the ceremony, got into a spat with the producers. For some reason, they wouldn’t let her perform “7 Rings” at the ceremony, and though they eventually agreed her to pair “7 Rings” with a second song chosen by the producers, Grande wasn’t having it. She found this insulting—as she should, not just because “7 Rings” is a jam, but because it’s a major single and she’s a major artist—and pulled out of the ceremony altogether.
The Grammy Awards has had a rather tenuous relationship with women artists. In general, nominations (and therefore awards) mostly go to men. In 2018, producers refused to offer Lorde a solo performance, even though her album, Melodrama, was up for album of the year. And women were mostly shut out of their categories, though a few women-led bands got awards—and all this was on top of Recording Academy president Neil Portnow claiming women artists weren’t nominated enough because the artists themselves needed to “step up.”
This year, there was a big push for the Grammy Awards themselves to “Step Up,” which they sort of did by expanding the four biggest categories, which made room for more women (they could have just nominated fewer men, but, fine.) Still, it’s not a great look to slight one of pop music’s biggest stars, especially after last year’s Lorde snafu (Lorde also ended up pulling out of the show), not to mention the fact that the Grammys have been using Grande in their marketing:
I guess the Grammys’ producers don’t think her music has the ability to bring us together enough to let her play what she wants.