The Recording Academy’s “In Memoriam” section, which traditionally runs towards the end of the Grammy Awards ceremony and honors those in the music industry who died in the previous year, is bound to displease many — as the internet’s ire proves annually. Omissions are to blame: some due to time constraints, others to very recent circumstances, but more than anything, our musician heroes are reaching that certain age, may they all rest in peace.
This year’s batch omitted some alternative faves, rap legends and one of rock’s most renowned lyricists. Among the missing were Grateful Dead songwriter Robert Hunter along with Silver Jews’ David Berman, notorious Geto Boy MC Bushwick Bill, cult singer Scott Walker, Prodigy singer Keith Flint, Talk Talk frontman Mark Hollis, The English Beat/General Public vocalist Ranking Roger, influential guitarist Neal Casal and Little Feat’s Paul Barrere.
In addition, the list misspelled The Cars’ Ric Ocasek, adding a “k” as well as Latin star Camilo Cesto as “Camile.”
Trombone Shorty, Orleans Avenue and Preservation Hall Jazz Band provided a New Orleans second-line funeral feel to the roster, which felt especially poignant this year due to the tragic death of Kobe Bryant, ending with a 15-second long take of Dr. John.
The show itself included musical tributes to the late L.A. rapper Nipsey Hussle and Prince, who died in 2016, but is the subject of a Grammy special to be taped Tuesday night.
The Recording Academy does include a more comprehensive list of those who have passed on its website. “The televised ‘In Memoriam’ segment is meant to only highlight some of the artists who died this year, not necessarily all,” said a Grammy spokesperson.
The segment did feature a number of music executives, including Warner Bros. Records veteran Joe Smith, Universal Music Group’s Jay Frank, and former Rhino and Apple executive Gary Stewart.
The full list of musicians and executives was also included in the official 62nd Grammy Awards program.