Just a week after Will Smith’s infamous Oscars meltdown, multiple controversies surrounding the Grammys mean that the music industry’s top awards show is another veritable powder keg set to blow.
The Grammys, set for Sunday night in Las Vegas with Trevor Noah hosting, will have to navigate a delicate situation with Kanye West, who was banned from performing but is expected to attend with five nominations on the line.
Marilyn Manson is also up for an award after he was accused of sexual misconduct by several women, and comedian Louis CK is likewise nominated as he makes his comeback from harassment allegations several years ago.
And in stinging snubs, the Weeknd is still boycotting the awards and Drake said he wanted no part in competing for a Grammy, withdrawing his two nominations.
The timing of the Grammys – exactly one week after Will Smith stunned the world by slapping Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars — adds an extra layer of unpredictability to what is already usually one of the more bizarre nights on the awards circuit.
Kanye West was banned from performing at the Grammys over his ‘concerning online behavior’ but is expected to attend the awards with five nominations on the line
The Grammys will continue to move forward without a performance from West, known as Ye, after organizers raised concerns about his ‘concerning online behavior.’
The ban appears to refer to West’s bizarre online feud with comedian Pete Davidson, who is dating his ex-wife Kim Kardashian, after West’s outbursts earned him a temporary suspension from Instagram.
West scored several nominations for his album ‘Donda’ — and will face off with longtime nemesis Taylor Swift in the Album of the Year category, where she has her sole chance at Grammy gold for ‘evermore.’
At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, West infamously ran onstage to interrupt Swift’s acceptance speech, snatching the mic from her hand to shout out Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies’ video.
Meanwhile, Manson’s contribution to Donda earned him a spot on the nominee list for Album of the Year — though he was scratched from contention as a writer for Best Rap Song due to a technicality.
Nine months ago, more than a dozen women, including Evan Rachel Wood and Game of Thrones actress Esme Bianco, accused Manson, 52, of sexual assault.
Bianco sued Manson in April, claiming he abused her dating back to 2007, with the lawsuit alleging she ‘suffered due to the deterioration of her mental health.’
The artist – real name Brian Hugh Warner – has denied all of the allegations, claiming his relationships were ‘entirely consensual.’
Marilyn Manson’s contribution to Donda earned him a spot on the nominee list for Album of the Year, but it is unclear whether he will attend the awards after facing sexual assault allegations
Louis CK is on a comeback after admitting several years ago to exposing himself in front of female comedians
Dave Chappelle was also nominated for a Grammy Award despite facing backlash for his comments on transgender people in his Netflix special, The Closer
Earlier this week, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr defended Manson’s nomination, saying the Academy doesn’t ‘restrict’ who can submit their names for awards consideration.
‘We won’t restrict the people who can submit their material for consideration,’ he explained to The Wrap.
‘We won’t look back at people’s history, we won’t look at their criminal record, we won’t look at anything other than the legality within our rules of, is this recording for this work eligible based on date and other criteria . If it is, they can submit for consideration.’
However, the 53-year-old producer and executive stopped short of saying that controversial artists such as Manson would be welcome at the Grammy ceremony.
‘What we will control is our stages, our shows, our events, our red carpets,’ Mason continued.
‘We’ll take a look at anyone who is asking to be a part of that, asking to be in attendance, and we’ll make our decisions at that point. But we’re not going to be in the business of restricting people from submitting their work for our voters to decide on.’
The comedian Louis CK, who admitted to exposing himself in front of female acquaintances several years ago, is also nominated for Best Comedy Album for ‘Sincerely Louis CK’.
Dave Chappelle was also nominated for a Grammy Award despite facing backlash for his comments on transgender people in his Netflix special, The Closer.
His Grammy nomination is for the Netflix special, 8:46, in the Best Spoken Word Album category.
The Foo Fighters confirmed that they will not perform at the Grammys following the recent death of its drummer Taylor Hawkins.
The rock band – nominated for three Grammys – had been scheduled to perform during the ceremony, but they recently canceled all upcoming concert dates.
Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion will compete in the Best Rap Performance category, the only field in which the artists behind the smash ‘WAP’ are in the running.
Korean pop juggernauts BTS scored one nomination in the pop categories for the huge commercial hit ‘Butter’ — less than expected for the massively popular boy band that has struggled to make inroads at the Grammys.
But BTS is slated to perform on the night watched as much for its staging as the actual awards, as will Rodrigo, Eilish, Batiste and HER along with Lil Nas X.
Despite the multiple controversies, organizers are hopeful that the show will draw a bigger audience, after viewership dropped to an all-time low of 8.8 million last year.
The ceremony relocated to Las Vegas for the first-time ever with several artists who could have epic nights including Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo and Jon Batiste.
The awards shifted from Los Angeles because of concern that rising COVID-19 cases and Omicron variant in January could result in legal restrictions.
Drake withdrew his work from consideration after accusing the Recording Academy, which he has long sparred with, of pigeonholing his music in the rap categories because he is black
The Weeknd is still boycotting the awards, after last year calling organizers ‘corrupt’ when his album After Hours failed to receive a single nomination
The latest: The Foo Fighters will not be performing at the 2022 Grammy Awards Sunday in the wake of the death of drummer Taylor Hawkins at 50 last week. Singer Dave Grohl, 53, and Hawkins were seen performing March 20 in Santiago, Chile
Sunday’s show will air live beginning at 8pm Eastern on CBS and the Paramount+ streaming service.
Host Trevor Noah calls Las Vegas a ‘perfect place to have a celebration’ with fans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Last year, the Grammys had a music festival vibe with parts of the show held outdoors in an intimate in-person setting with music artists mixed with pre-taped performances.
Noah expects an entertaining show with several performers set to hit the stage including Rodrigo, Eilish, Lil Nas X, Jack Harlow, Brandi Carlile, Batiste, Silk Sonic, HER, Chris Stapleton, Leslie Odom Jr. and Brothers Osborne.
He said the awards will be a celebration of the music industry coming back to life.
‘There’s an element of this (show) that´s like a music camp,’ Noah said. ‘I think it’s going to bring a different energy, and I´m excited to be a part of it.’
The multitalented Jon Batiste enters the Grammys as the leading nominee with 11 in a variety of genres including R&B, jazz, American roots music, classical and music video.
Justin Bieber, Doja Cat and HER are tied for the second-most nominations with eight apiece.
The awards will introduce its expanded 10 nominees in three major genres – record, album and song of the year. The growing categories will make the competition stronger but could make choosing a winner a lot tougher.
For album of the year, the Recording Academy expanded the category’s eligibility for any featured artists, producers, songwriters and engineers – even if the music creator co-wrote one song on the project. That means there could be a large amount of winners on stage, depending on who wins.
For example, if Bieber´s ‘Justice’ wins at the show, more than 50 creators could pack the stage. The same could be said for Ye, Doja Cat and HER, who have a plethora of contributors.
But Eilish´s ‘Happier Than Ever’ features songs written by the young star and her brother Finneas, who produced all of her tracks. Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga and Rodrigo are sitting in the same boat.
Harvey Mason Jr, the academy’s CEO, said the number of creators in a category won’t dictate the winner.
Either way, Noah said he doesn´t mind.
‘It’ll be great to see that moment,’ he said. ‘You get to be on stage and celebrated for your work. I’m excited for that. I want to see 25 people on stage celebrating and sharing the love and joy for something they’ve done.’
Before the awards, the academy will hold a couple events including a tribute to Joni Mitchell at the MusiCares Person of the Year on Friday night. Chaka Khan, Cyndi Lauper, Billy Porter and Beck are among those expected to perform.
On Saturday, Grammy winner John Legend will be honored during the academy´s Black Music Collective. The singer will receive his first-ever Recording Academy Global Impact Award for his personal and professional achievements in the music industry.
Legend will be celebrated with a performance by Summer Walker, D-Nice and MC Lyte as the voice for the evening. Jimmy Jam will be making remarks.