GRAMMYs Executive Producer Weighs in on Lorde Not Being Asked to Perform Solo
By John Boone
Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS
The 2018 GRAMMYs found time for a bajillion Sting appearances and a 45-minute Patti LuPone opera -- the latter of which, admittedly, was great -- but there just wasn't enough time to fit in a Lorde performance, it seems.
The singer was not only the sole female Album of the Year nominee -- for Melodrama -- but the only AOTY nominee to not be offered a solo performance during Sunday's show, ET learned. Following the GRAMMYs, executive producer Ken Ehrlich was asked if it was a mistake not to ask her to perform solo.
"I don't know if it was a mistake," Ehrlich said backstage. "These shows are always a matter of choices and we know we have a box and the box gets full and the box gets filled up."
"She had a great album," he continued. "I mean, Album of the Year is a big honor, but there is no way we can really deal with everybody. So, sometimes maybe people get left out that shouldn't, but on the other hand, we did the best we could to put on a really balanced show."
In lieu of a solo performance, Lorde was asked to perform as part of a tribute to Tom Petty, which she ultimately declined. Meanwhile, Bruno Mars, Childish Gambino and Kendrick Lamar were given prime telecast real estate for their respective sets. (JAY-Z was reportedly offered a solo slot as well, but declined.)
Neil Portnow, the president and CEO of the Recording Academy, echoed a similar sentiment. "We have a wealth of riches every year, and it’s hard to have a balanced show and have everybody involved," he claimed. "Every year is different. We can't have a performance from every nominee -- we have over 80 categories -- and so we have to realize that we have to create something that has balance. What you saw was our best judgment on how to do that."