"A couple of weeks ago, I got asked if I would introduce Rihanna on the [GRAMMYs]," Corden explained on Monday night after the awards ceremony. "I get this phone call saying Rihanna has this big thing planned for her song 'Kiss It Better' and she's doing like a whole '80s talk show thing and it's going to be really cool. What she wants you to do is be like an '80s talk show host and I'd have funny glasses and I'd introduce Rihanna. She'd come out and do a song and then at the end, she'd come and sit with me, like it was it's own talk show which they called As It Lays."
Corden said Rihanna was "under the weather" when they rehearsed the performance, but he still arrived to the GRAMMYs thinking that the show would still go on. He said it wasn't until he got to the end of the red carpet that he was told that the Anti singer had backed out.
Corden joked that he agreed to step in for Rihanna, but added that L.L. Cool J was nice enough to ask the 37-year-old late-night host to help him introduce the Lionel Richie tribute.
"We hope you feel better, Rihanna. We really do," Corden said to camera. "Get well soon."
Rihanna's rep confirmed with ET that the singer had to cancel her performance last minute due to an illness. "Based on Rihanna's examination after GRAMMY rehearsals today, Rihanna's doctor put her on vocal rest for 48 hours because she was at risk of hemorrhaging her vocal chords," the rep said in a statement. "The antibiotics she has been on for three days did not kill the infection adequately, therefore she cannot perform safely."