With just a few days to go until the Grammys air live from LA on Feb. 10, it's been revealed that a key performer has pulled out of the show: Ariana Grande. Following a dispute with the show's producers over which songs she would perform, the singer has decided not to attend the show at all. According to Variety, Grande was "insulted" when producers initially didn't want her to sing her new single "7 Rings." Though they eventually compromised by letting the song be part of a larger medley, they still wanted to be able to choose her second song. The publication adds that "such stipulations were not imposed on other performers at the show."
Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich spoke with The Associated Press on Thursday, saying they had multiple conversations with Grande about her possibly performing at the ceremony but the singer "felt it was too late for her to pull something together." Shortly after, Grande addressed Ehrlich's comments on Twitter in a series of fiery tweets.
i’ve kept my mouth shut but now you’re lying about me. i can pull together a performance over night 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. 🖤— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) February 7, 2019
i offered 3 different songs. it’s about collaboration. it’s about feeling supported. it’s about art and honesty. not politics. not doing favors or playing games. it’s just a game y’all.. and i’m sorry but that’s not what music is to me.— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) February 7, 2019
hope that helps everyone understand my decision. i am still grateful for the acknowledgement this year. 🖤— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) February 7, 2019
Grande, who is nominated for two awards at the Grammys, is set to release her fifth album, Thank U, Next, just a few days before the show, on Feb. 8. Though the singer received critical acclaim for her first single "Thank U, Next" and its pop culture-filled music video, "7 Rings" has received some backlash after people accused Grande of cultural appropriation for the song's music video and lyrics. Things only escalated when Grande misspelled the Japanese characters for the title of the song with her new hand tattoo.
In a series of since-deleted tweets, Grande responded to the criticism, writing, "There is a difference between appropriation and appreciation. My Japanese fans were always excited when I wrote in Japanese or wore Japanese sayings on my clothing. However, all of the merch with Japanese on it was taken down from my site not that anyone cared to notice." She ended her Twitter thread by noting how she deals with anxiety and "people on this app really don't know how to be forgiving or gentle when someone has made an innocent mistake."