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After Lauryn Hill was expected to swoop in on The Weeknd’s performance at the 58th annual Grammy Awards on Monday night, the singer failed to appear onstage at Los Angeles’ Staples Center due to its “last-minute nature.”
A rep from Hill’s camp issued the following statement:
“The Grammys announced a performance by Ms. Lauryn Hill prematurely and without approval. Ms. Hill had concerts all weekend, leaving no time to prepare, and was uncertain she would even be able to make it to L.A. in time to rehearse for the event. Any performance that could have happened was never confirmed, and should not have been advertised as such. Ms. Hill was invited to do a collaboration with an artist she appreciates. The performance was intended to be a surprise and unfortunately, due to its last-minute nature, was unable to come to fruition.”
The Weeknd still held his own with renditions of his hits “In the Night” — which peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 — and his chart-topping smash “Can’t Feel My Face.”
Rihanna also canceled her Grammys performance after her doctor put her on vocal rest for 48 hours because she “was at risk of hemorrhaging her vocal cords.”
Recording Academy president Neil Portnow told the press backstage that Hill came to dress rehearsal on Monday morning but didn’t make it back in time for her planned but unannounced performance with The Weeknd. “I guess those things happen.”
Feb. 15., 9:30 p.m. A rep for the Grammys tells Billboard that Hill wasn’t announced as part of the performance lineup.
Feb. 16, 7:59 a.m. This story has been updated with Recording Academy president Neil Portnow’s comments to the press backstage.
This story first appeared on Billboard.
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