The Biggest Celebrities Who Turned Down Performing at the 2019 Grammys

As the 2019 Grammys creep closer, everyone is waiting with bated breath to find out who will come out on top in each category.

The nominations have been set, the presenters have been chosen, but one thing the Grammys had a hard time doing this year was solidifying who would perform.

So, who turned down performing at this year’s show?

Kendrick Lamar

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In an interview with the New York Times, Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich said that he offered a performance slot to Kendrick Lamar who passed up the opportunity.

Reps for Lamar have declined to comment on why the rapper is not taking the chance to perform.

He is nominated for eight Grammys this year, inlcuding two for Best Rap Song, Best Song, and Rap Performance.

He did perform at last year’s show.


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Going Mawd

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In the same interview, Ehrlich also revealed that he offered a Grammy performance spot to Drake. The Canada native declined to perform as well.

Despite being nominated for Grammys this year, Drake hasn’t been on the best terms with the awards show for a while.

In a 2017 interview, he expressed frustration with the awards for putting him in a box.

“I am referred to as a black artist, like last night at [the Grammys], I’m a black artist… I’m apparently a rapper, even though ‘Hotline Bling’ is not a rap song,” he told BBC 1xtra’s DJ Semtex. “The only category they can manage to fit me in is in a rap category, maybe because I’ve rapped in the past or because I’m black. I can’t figure out why.”

He also skipped the Grammys that year, despite “Hotline Bling” winning two awards.

Childish Gambino

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feels like summer. link in bio. @justin_richburg

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Childish Gambino was also offered the chance to perform but utlimately decided not to.

His reps declined to comment on why the star didn’t want to grace this year’s stage, despite doing so last year.

Gambino is nominated for five Grammys, including Song, Music Video, and Record of the Year.

The Reason

In the interview with The New York Times, Ehrlich said that he believes the reason that the aforementioned artists declined performing is an issue that the Grammys has with the hip-hop community.

“The fact of the matter is, we continue to have a problem in the hip-hop world,” he said. “When they don’t take home the big prize, the regard of the academy, and what the Grammys represent, continues to be less meaningful to the hip-hop community, which is sad.”

Ariana Grande

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i can’t wait

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Another star who notably will not be perfoming at this year’s awards is Ariana Grande.

Initially, Ehrlich said that the reason that Grande wasn’t performing was due to a time constraint.

“As it turned out when we finally got the point where we thought maybe it would work, she felt it was too late for her to pull something together for sure,” he told the Associated Press. “And it’s too bad. She’s a great artist. And I’d love to get her in the show this year.”

When Grande read the interview, she took to Twitter to set the story straight.

“I’ve kept my mouth shut but now you’re lying about me,” she tweeted. “I can pull together a performance overnight 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. ”

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