Ariana Grande Slams GRAMMYs for Why She Isn't Performing: 'My Creativity & Self Expression Was Stifled'
By Antoinette Bueno
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Ariana Grande is calling out GRAMMYs producer Ken Ehrlich for "lying" about her when it comes to why she's not performing at this year's ceremony.
On Thursday, Grande took to Twitter to dispute Ehrlich's quotes to the Associated Press that the singer felt it "was too late for her to pull something together" during a month-long discussion about her performing.
"I’ve kept my mouth shut but now you’re lying about me," Grande tweeted. "I can pull together a performance over night and you know that, Ken. It was when my creativity & self expression was stifled by you, that I decided not to attend. I hope the show is exactly what you want it to be and more."
"I offered 3 different songs," she continued. "It’s about collaboration. It’s about feeling supported. It’s about art and honesty. Not politics. Not doing favors or playing games. It’s just a game y’all.. and I’m sorry but that’s not what music is to me."
Grande is nominated for two GRAMMYs this year, Best Pop Solo Performance for "God Is a Woman" and Best Pop Vocal Album for Sweetener.
"Hope that helps everyone understand my decision. I am still grateful for the acknowledgement this year," Grande tweeted.
On Tuesday, Variety reported that Grande felt "insulted" after producers initially refused to allow her to perform her latest single, “7 Rings,” from her upcoming album, Thank U, Next. According to the report, they were able to reach a compromise that “7 Rings” would be part of the performance, but Grande decided not to perform -- or even attend the GRAMMYs -- after producers insisted that they would get to pick the second song she sang.
However, ET's Keltie Knight spoke to Ehrlich on Thursday, and he said that discussions with Grande actually didn't get that far. He also explained that artists are encouraged not to perform new songs because it could potentially give the singer the edge for a GRAMMY next year when the song becomes eligible for an award.
"I don't know that she backed out, I think that's pushing it," Ehrlich tells ET. "We never got quite to that point. We talked about having her as a part of the show, we did make an offer. As has been reported, there were some things that, you know, '7 Rings' is a new song. We discourage artists from doing new songs, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is then that song has a leg up in someone's mind for next year. So, sometimes we do it, but we then ask an artist to do something that is nominated so that the tie is made, and it works together."
"We never got that far with her, and it's too bad," he continues. "I wish her well, I've worked with her a number of times over the years, and let's hope we see you next year."
ET also spoke to Recording Academy President Neil Portnow, who noted that nothing is set in stone for the big night.
"We love Ariana. And she's a great artist, and she's been on many of our shows and she's very appropriately nominated this year, but you know, in putting all of these things together, there's always a lot of moving pieces and parts," he said. "But, I'll go back to my earlier statement, we don't wrap this show 'til Sunday morning, and so lots of things can happen and we'll see where we go."