If you were hoping to get Beyoncé performance at tonight’s Grammy Awards then you might be disappointed to learn that she is skipping the stage altogether as rumors circulate of a boycott of the event.
Despite leading the pack with nine nominations this year, including the nomination for Best Music Film for her amazing visual album, Black Is King, the singer was noticeably left out of the list of performers scheduled to take the stage tonight. While it’s unclear if Beyoncé’s absence from the stage tonight is meant to be a boycott of the event, Bey and her hubby Jay Z made it clear on their 2018 single “Apesh-t” that they would not be attending the show last year due to the event’s history of snubbing Black artists, so it would be no surprise if they decided to extend their boycott into this year. “Tell the Grammy’s fuck that 0 for 8 shit/Have you ever seen the crowd goin’ apeshit?” he rapped on the single in response to receiving eight Grammy nominations for his album 4:44 in 2018 but actually winning none, a major upset in the hip-hop community.
This isn’t the first time Jay Z has boycotted the Grammy stage. He previously boycotted the ceremony for six years straight before returning to support Beyoncé. At the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala in 2018, Jay Z explained his original decision to boycott the Grammys over 20 years ago. “My introduction to the Grammys were, aside from seeing them on TV and seeing Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder and all those guys inspiring [me] to do what they did, was 1998,” he told People at the event. “I had an album called Vol. II. You like that album? And I was nominated for some awards,” he continued. “There was another guy. His name was DMX, and he had released two albums the same year, they did like 900,000…The same year, he had released two albums, and he wasn’t nominated for any Grammys.”
“I actually boycotted the Grammys that year,” Jay Z explained, adding that he didn’t return to the show until 2004 when Beyoncé was first nominated as a solo artist. “My first time coming back, six years later, [was] for the Crazy in Love album with the beautiful Miss Beyoncé.”
If true, Beyoncé and Jay Z aren’t the only Black artists to boycott the Grammy stage due to snubs over the last few years as Childish Gambino, Drake, and the most-nominated artists of the year Kendrick Lamar also declined to perform at last year’s event.
In a statement to The Los Angeles Times, Recording Academy interim chief executive Harvey Mason Jr. confirmed that despite rumors of a surprise performance, the 24-time Grammy award winner would not be making an appearance this year. “It’s unfortunate because she’s such a big part of the Recording Academy. We absolutely wish we had her onstage,” he said.
Without a performance by Beyoncé, the biggest night in music will definitely not be the same, as many fans were looking forward to seeing the Black Is King singer take the stage to perform some of her latest classics like BLACK PARADE, BROWN SKIN GIRL and the Savage Remix with Meg Thee Stallion. And without a performance from Queen Bey herself, we also may not get any new red carpet looks from the multi-faceted superstar who’s known to slay every Grammy red carpet she steps onto. In the meantime, we’ll just reminisce on some of Beyoncé’s amazing looks from previous years!