×

Late Rapper XXXTentacion Rejected for Grammys In Memoriam Segment

XXXTentacion, who was shot to death in June 2018, was rejected from the Grammys’ in memoriam segment on Sunday night. According to a source, representatives for the late rapper requested repeatedly that the Recording Academy recognize the artist, whose “Sad!” was one of the most consumed songs of 2018. But because of the rapper’s history of domestic violence, the show opted not to include him alongside such acts as Avicii and Mac Miller.

After the nominations were revealed in December, Academy president Neil Portnow was asked by Rolling Stone whether the segment would include XXX. “I will tell you it’s a daunting challenge,” said Portnow. “We track those that we lose in our industry in any given year and then we have a process by which we go through it. Our on-air in memoriam — we’re lucky if we wind up [featuring] 10 to 15 percent of those we lose. Because it’s always hard choices. All of that is to say, I don’t have any answers for you now, but obviously artists who were prominent and well-known by the public are people who are recognized and we’ll just wind up having to see how it plays out.”

The divisive artist first broke in 2017 after appearing on the cover of XXL Magazine’s influential “Freshman” issue alongside Kamaiyah, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, PnB Rock, MadeinTYO, Playboi Carti, Aminé, Kap G, KYLE and Ugly God. XXX won the fan vote to make the cover.

The 20-year-old Florida native has been embroiled in legal problems over his alleged beating of a girlfriend while pregnant. The controversy has resulted in numerous articles calling for the greater music industry to not “co-sign,” or endorse, his music, including one that was published by Pitchfork titled, “XXXTentacion Is Blowing Up Behind Bars. Should He Be?”

XXX was also one of the artists to spur a “hateful conduct” ban on Spotify — since revoked — which removed his music from popular playlists like Rap Caviar. Hours after his death, XXXTentacion claimed the top two spots on the playlist, with songs from “?,” along with a tag at the top that read, “Rest In Peace, XXXTENTACION.”

Also omitted from the in memoriam were the Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley and Black Keys collaborator Richard Swift, though they appear on a tribute page on the Grammy website.

More Music

  • Bob Mould

    Bob Mould Showcases Catalog, Ejects Right Wing Heckler at Tour Opener

    Bob Mould kicked off a somewhat unusual solo electric tour at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, Mass. last night, with a 75-minute set that drew evenly from across his four decade career. Mould may have embraced a sunnier perspective since moving to Berlin three years ago — as evidenced by his [...]

  • Naaz

    Italy's Meduza, Dutch singer Naaz Among Winners at Music Moves Europe Talent Awards

    Italian electronic producers Meduza, Norway’s Girl In Red, and Dutch singer Naaz (pictured) were among the winners at the second annual Music Moves Europe Talent Awards, which took place Friday, Jan. 17 in the Netherlands. The honor, formerly known as the European Border Breakers Award (EBBA), went to eight artists in total, as well as [...]

  • Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant,

    Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant, Dies at 73

    Gregg Smith, a dancer, casting director and assistant choreographer who had a long association with director Kenny Ortega, has died. He was 73. Smith died on Jan. 1. The industry veteran worked as a performer in the national touring company of the musical “Hair” and in a Los Angeles production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He [...]

  • Eminem "Music to Be Murdered By"

    Eminem's 'Music to Be Murdered By': Album Review

    Eminem’s surprise album release may bear the Hitchcock-referencing title “Music to Be Murdered By,” but, yes, as you’d expect, “Music to Murder To” might be a more apt description. The 20-track LP, his tenth since soundtracking the turn of the millennium with 1999’s “The Slim Shady LP,” finds the Detroit rap legend in an alternately rancorous [...]

  • Cynthia Erivo25th Annual Critics' Choice Awards,

    Cynthia Erivo Talks Singing Live on Set for 'Genius: Aretha'

    Cynthia Erivo confirmed the rumor that she is indeed singing live on set for “Genius: Aretha.” During the Nat Geo series’ Television Critics’ Association press tour pane, Erivo discussed how singing live allowed her to capture the voice and essence of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. “Singing is my second language, the rumor is [...]

  • Chuck D of Public EnemyGods of

    Public Enemy’s Chuck D Slams Grammys Over Deborah Dugan Ouster

    Chuck D, frontman of Public Enemy — who are receiving the Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Grammys next week — posted a long statement on Instagram criticizing the Recording Academy over its sudden ousting of new president/CEO Deborah Dugan yesterday. Dugan, who had been in the job only five months, was placed on administrative leave after [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content