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3 YEARS

Grammys In Memoriam Slideshow Leaves Out Etta James, Don Cornelius

The Recording Academy explains that a live performance and shout out honored the late soul legends.

Etta James Don Cornelius Split - H 2012
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Many fans were shocked to see that legendary jazz singer Etta James and soul music trailblazer Don Cornelius weren’t included in the In Memoriam slide show honoring those the music industry had lost in the previous year. But, the Recording Academy explained its decision somewhat via its Twitter account.

“Re: Etta James tribute was by Bonnie Raitt & Alicia Keys at the top of the telecast & Questlove gave special attn to Don Cornelius,” the Recording Academy tweeted.

And of course, it’s true that those two events did pay special attention to the Jazz singer who died last month at 73 and the Soul Train creator and host who committed suicide early this month (yet maybe less so). Yet, some disagree whether that was enough.

“Can't believe Etta James and Don Cornelius weren't in the Memoriam,” Toure, a writer who’s currently working on rapper Nas’s biography, tweets. “I'm glad Etta got a tribute from Alicia, but she still should've gotten a picture in the Memoriam. It's just a picture.”

“Thanks LL Cool J and Quest love for that," writes recently suspended CNN analyst Roland S. Martin. "But just like Whitney, you add his photo to the 'In Memoriam' montage for historical reasons."

Do you agree with the Grammys that a performance tribute and shout out replaced the need to include the stars in the In Memoriam slideshow? Tell us in the comments section below.