Grammys: James Corden Was Ready to Replace Rihanna's Canceled Performance
James Corden says the singer, who pulled out of performing after rehearsal, had planned an '80s talk show bit.
Rihanna was forced to cancel her Grammys performance due to bronchitis, and James Corden provided more background about the situation on The Late Late Show.
Corden explained that he was asked to introduce Rihanna's performance a few weeks ago. He said Grammy producers called and said, "Rihanna's got this big thing planned for her song, 'Kiss It Better,' " and that she planned on doing an '80s talk show bit.
Corden was going to be the talk show host for the show, which was to be called "As It Lays." He said he'd planned on wearing "funny glasses" and that Rihanna would sit with him at the end of the performance.
On Saturday, Corden heard Rihanna was "a bit under the weather" when he went to rehearsal, but things were still going as planned, with someone measuring him for an '80s suit Sunday morning. The talk show host said he walked down the red carpet at the Grammys telling everyone, "I'm going to be introducing Rihanna, she's asked me personally to be a part of it, it's amazing."
At the end of the red carpet, he was told Rihanna's doctor had put her on vocal rest.
"I immediately go, 'I hear what you're saying — yes, I'll fill the spot,' " said Corden with a smile. He joked that he'd "just had a wax" and put on his hot pants, already singing "Bitch Better Have My Money" in his head and preparing umbrellas for his big finale.
The producers said, "No James, we've just cut it, it's gone," recounted a disappointed Corden. Luckily, LL Cool J came to the rescue and asked Corden to help him introduce the Lionel Richie tribute.