Nearly four years after his death, Prince was honored Sunday night with a special all-star performance at the 62nd Grammy Awards that left some viewers scratching their heads.
Usher, who anchored the medley of “Little Red Corvette,” “When Doves Cry” and “Kiss,” sang and danced onstage while longtime Prince collaborator and percussionist Sheila E. played the drums. Singer FKA twigs, meanwhile — who was also billed as a performer for the Prince tribute — was limited to pole-dancing on the side of the stage to the surprise (and ire) of critics and fans.
“Imagine making the decision to not let FKA Twigs sing anything at all,” wrote Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield.
“So, FKA twigs is being reduced to a Usher backup dancer right now?” one fan tweeted.
Afterward, FKA twigs took to social media to clarify: “of course i wanted to sing at the grammys. i wasn’t asked this time but hopefully in the future. none the less what an honour. congratulations to all winners x.”
Meanwhile, Sheila E. sang a different tune backstage.
“She didn’t want to sing,” Sheila E. told reporters. “First she wanted to, but then she didn’t want to when we ran through it because she didn’t have a (microphone) pack and (in-ear monitors), so she couldn’t hear. And she would rather have danced – which is what we asked her as well. She chose not to, she said ‘No, I’m OK.’”
Later this week, CBS will broadcast another live all-star tribute to the Purple One, with performances by Alicia Keys, Coldplay, John Legend, Foo Fighters and more. That special airs on Tuesday, Jan. 28.