While the Grammys will include performances from Cardi B and Diana Ross, three prominent hip-hop artists may be nowhere to be found when the live show airs Sunday night on CBS.
According to The New York Times, Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino all turned down invitations to perform at music's biggest night. Furthermore, representatives for all three artists refused to comment on whether they will even be in the building.
K. Dot has been nominated for eight awards this year, including album of the year for the Black Panther soundtrack and song of the year for his collaboration with SZA, "All the Stars." Drake picked up seven nominations, including one for song of the year for "God's Plan." Childish Gambino's "This Is America" is also nominated in that same category, along with four others.
Although Grammy producers have made numerous attempts to work with artists who have been snubbed in the past, there is a growing fear their efforts have no significance to the musicians they are accused of ignoring.
For example, Kendrick was awarded a gramophone in all five rap categories at last year's ceremony. However, he didn't win album of the year for DAMN. Instead, Bruno Mars was given that honor for his equally successful album 24K Magic.
Chief executive of the Recording Academy Neil Portnow lamented the previous performers' absence and hoped they would come in the future to celebrate their accomplishments.
"We would hope that all nominees attend the show and be there as their own achievements are celebrated,” Portnow expressed to The New York Times. "Because that’s really what it's about."
Complex reports that the Grammys have made significant missteps that have prompted artists to withdraw their name as an attendee. In 2018, Jay-Z secured eight nominations for his thirteenth studio album, 4:44. However, the ceremony ended without him being given a single award. Even worse, there was only one woman to win a Grammy that night.
It's a complicated task to manage the blowback from these noticeably embarrassing gaffes, but Portnow explained the ever-changing process to Rolling Stone as best he could.
"You know, this is a fluid process and there are always conversations with artists who are nominated trying to figure it out," Portnow said.
"Not every artist at every time is available. Not every artist will necessarily feel like they want to do something that perhaps we feel is appropriate."
CBS will air the 61st Grammy Awards on live on Sunday at 8 p.m. EST from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
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