Ariana Grande says Grammys are lying about why she’s not performing

Ariana Grande walks the red carpet at the 2016 Grammy Awards. But she likely won't be doing so this year.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Ariana Grande fired back Thursday following reports about her backing out of this weekend’s Grammy Awards over disputes with producers. She accused longtime show producer Ken Ehrlich of “lying” about her and stifling her creativity and self-expression.

The “thank u, next” singer was in talks to perform during the CBS telecast on Sunday, but — according to Ehrlich — she “felt it was too late for her to pull something together” after ongoing conversations for the last month or so.

Grande disputed that narrative Thursday on Twitter, posting a screenshot of an Associated Press story that quoted Ehrlich following Wednesday reports on the clash.


“i’ve kept my mouth shut but now you’re lying about me,” Grande said in the Twitter thread. “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.”

Grande said she offered to perform three different songs, but apparently did not feel that producers were being collaborative or supportive.

“it’s about feeling supported. it’s about art and honesty. 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,” she added.

Hits reported Wednesday that Grande felt “insulted” when producers initially refused to let her perform “7 Rings,” the latest track from her “thank u, next” album, which drops at midnight Friday. After they insisted on picking her second song, Grande reportedly pulled out of the performance because such impositions were not made on other performers. Then she refused to attend the event altogether, reports said.

The pop star, who has yet to win a Grammy, is up for two awards during Sunday’s festivities, including solo performance (“God Is a Woman”) and pop vocal album (“Sweetener”).


Grande’s likeness has been used to promote Sunday’s telecast, which will be hosted by Alicia Keys and feature performances by Cardi B, Lady Gaga, Diana Ross and Dolly Parton, among numerous others.

The singer wrote that as she typed her tweets about Ehrlich, a bus featuring her in a Grammys promo passed her. (Grande had never been officially announced as a performer at the ceremony.) But she also said that she hoped her tweets would help everyone understand her decision.

“i am still grateful for the acknowledgment this year,” she added.

Reps for the Grammys and for Grande did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment.

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