Lauryn Hill couldn't perform at the GRAMMYs on Monday due to logistical reasons, but the Recording Academy isn't buying it.
Remember when Universal and TIDAL were volleying blame back and forth as to whose fault it was Rihanna's ANTi album leaked? It's like that.
Hill's performance with The Weeknd at the GRAMMYs was meant to be a surprise because her camp wasn't sure she'd make it back in time. Unlucky for them, the Recording Academy began airing televised ads promoting the performance, and the rest is downhill. Hill cancelled her performance that night despite having rehearsed with Abel beforehand, leaving the lonely Weeknd to his own devices. After the show, Hill's reps issued a statement clarifying she did not cancel, but was never confirmed to begin with.
“The Grammy’s 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 LA 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.”
Recording Academy President Neil Portnow didn't buy it, telling USA Today "none of that statement is accurate." He also confirmed her rehearsal of "In The Night" with The Weeknd Monday morning. "It’s a disappointment to us and a disappointment to her," he said. "Our intention was, and we were ready, right up to the moment of the performance, for her to step up on stage."
Hill's camp is refuting Portnow's rebuttal with a new statement. They blame it on logistics.
"In regards to the comments this morning from The Grammys, CBS did announce Ms. Hill's performance, there were official Grammy television ads that ran for a couple of days naming Ms. Hill as a performer on the show," the statement said. "Her camp was unhappy about this. They had made it clear from the start that although Ms. Hill was going to attempt to make the show, she could not confirm, as there were too many logistical issues that could potentially prevent the performance from happening. The performance was also supposed to be a surprise. This was discussed with Grammy organizers, and the TV spots were pulled. As previously mentioned, Ms.Hill attempted a last minute rush to LA, to see if this could happen, but unfortunately timing that day kept it from being a reality. Ms. Hill truly appreciated the invitation, and the efforts made by all parties to try and make the performance happen."
We know traffic in L.A. is horrendous, but something doesn't add up.