No-Shows: She Said, He Said
Two hugely popular female artists set to appear on this year's Grammys never made it onstage during the broadcast: Rihanna and Ms. Lauryn Hill. Most fans at home and inside Staples Center had no idea, or just how close they came to appearing. Less than an hour before showtime, Rihanna informed producers she was too sick to perform "Kiss It Better" as scheduled, and the song was cut from the program. Hill was set to make a surprise appearance with the Weeknd during "In the Night." Earlier in the day, she performed at the dress rehearsal, then never returned.
A statement from Hill's camp followed: "The Grammys announced a performance by Ms. Lauryn Hill prematurely and without approval. Ms. Hill had concerts all weekend, leaving no time to prepare, and was uncertain she would even be able to make it to L.A. in time to rehearse for the event. Any performance that could have happened was never confirmed, and should not have been advertised as such."
In a rare public disagreement with a major artist, Recording Academy President Neil Portnow declared at a backstage press conference: "None of that statement is accurate. We did not announce her. She made the dress rehearsal and did not show up for the actual performance." He said Hill was supposed to be a surprise and was invited by the Weeknd to join on his second song. "That's what we rehearsed, and that's what we expected to happen."