On the music industry's biggest night of the year, one of the biggest artists in the business right now won't be there. But why isn't Ariana Grande at the 2019 Grammys? As Billboard reported over the weekend, the "thank u, next" singer and producers for the Grammy Awards apparently haven't been seeing eye to eye on what each other wanted for a performance.
Last week, Grande took to Twitter to speak out about why she wouldn't be taking the stage at the Grammys. According to USA Today, Grammys producer Ken Ehlrich reportedly told The Associated Press that Grande pulled out of performing days before the ceremony because she "felt it was too late for her to pull something together."
And not long after, Grande responded to his comments on Twitter. Alongside a screenshot of The Associated Press' article with Ehrlich, the "7 Rings" singer wrote in a fiery tweet: "i've kept my mouth shut but now you’re lying about me. i can pull together a performance over night and you know that, Ken. it was when my creativity & self expression was stifled by you, that i decided not to attend. i hope the show is exactly what you want it to be and more."
Over the weekend, Ehrlich hit back at Grande's tweets in an interview with Rolling Stone. "I saw those tweets and what she said. I guess it was a surprise," Erhlich told the publication on Saturday. “I will say this, and they don’t want me to say it but I’m going to say it: The thing that probably bothered me more than whatever else she said about me is when she said I’m not collaborative."
In another tweet on Thursday, Grande wrote that she "offered 3 different songs" for her Grammys performance, but there was reportedly some "disagreements" between her and producers, according to Variety.
"it’s about collaboration. it’s about feeling supported. it’s about art and honesty," Grande tweeted last week. "not politics. not doing favors or playing games. it’s just a game y’all.. and i’m sorry but that’s not what music is to me."
For his part, Erhlich told Rolling Stone that he "never spoke to Grande directly, but worked with her management team," and disputed Grande's claims that he allegedly "stifled" her creative process. "I don’t know if I’m good at anything else, but I understand artists and I can hear other artists in an artist,” he told Rolling Stone. "I don’t say to people, ‘This is what you should do.’ I approach it casually and say, hey, this might be a good idea, let’s find something in the middle."
So what exactly was this alleged dispute about? It's not entirely clear, but Variety reported that Grande and producers had "reached a compromise" in which she would perform her new hit "7 Rings," but Grande decided to pull out when "producers insisted that the second song would be their choice."
It seems there are many moving pieces and differing opinions when it comes to what happened between Grande and those behind the scenes at the Grammys. And although the many viewers at home will miss seeing Grande this year, the pop star certainly won't be MIA for long and, as usual, will keep her fans in the loop on what she's up to next.