Ahead of Sunday night’s Grammys, the Recording Academy announced Wednesday that this year’s ceremony will remember the legacies of Prince and George Michael with a pair of “unforgettable tribute segments.”
Producers did not reveal which artists would take part in the specific tributes, though it was previously announced that John Legend will perform the show’s In Memoriam segment.
“George Michael and Prince were pop icons who showcased rare musical genius and otherworldly charisma,” President/CEO of The Recording Academy Neil Portnow said in a statement. “While each possessed a distinct style and sound, they were both adored by audiences worldwide. The passings of two such creative innovators were a huge loss for the creative community; The Recording Academy is humbled to pay homage to their tremendous legacies on the Grammy stage.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich talked about the delicate balance the award show faced following a year that saw many musician deaths, including David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Prince, Leonard Cohen and, on Christmas, George Michael. Bowie and Frey were remembered at the 2016 Grammys.
“You’ve got a lot of people incredibly excited about being nominated,” Ehrlich said. “I don’t want to deny them by devoting a third of the show to people who’ve passed away.”