On Friday, Ariana Grande, one of the world’s biggest pop stars as of right now, will release thank u, next, her second album in less than a year. And on Sunday night, the Grammys are happening. You would think that the Grammys would want to make sure Ariana Grande was a huge part of the show, and you would also think that Ariana Grande would want to use the Grammys to promote her record. And that was the original plan. But it’s not happening.
Grande was slated to perform at the Grammys, and the show has been heavily promoting her appearance, but Variety reports that Grande has had disagreements with the show’s producers. And now, Grande isn’t performing on the show, and she isn’t attending, either. The whole thing stems from a disagreement over which song Grande would perform on the show.
According to Variety, Grande wanted to perform “7 Rings,” her new single, which is currently the #1 song in the country. The producers wanted her to perform something else. They eventually worked out a compromise, wherein Grande would sing “7 Rings” as part of a medley. But the producers insisted that they would get to pick the second song in the medley. Variety also claims that the Grammy producers did not put those restrictions on any of the show’s other performers.
Last year, talking to Billboard, Grande lamented the ways that she’s had to fight to win the same control over her career than her male peers get: “I feel like there are certain standards that pop women are held to that men aren’t… it's just like, bruh, I just want to fucking talk to my fans and sing and write music and drop it the way these boys do.” And now the Grammys, a show that has a record of alienating a whole lot of the biggest stars in music, have lost another one. Seems pretty dumb!
The situation is more than a little similar to the impasse the Grammys reached with Lorde last year, whereby they declined to let her perform a song from her “Melodrama” album — one of the five Album of the Year nominees — and instead offered her a spot during the show’s Tom Petty tribute, which she declined.