Will Kanye be at the Grammys? Following boycott rumors, here's what we know.
It was reported last month that Kanye West would not be attending this year's Grammy Awards. While Drake and Justin Bieber also won't be attending the 59th annual awards, it's West's planned absence which is the most intriguing.
Drake is allegedly skipping the show because it conflicts with his Boy Meets World tour. Meanwhile, Bieber wants more representation for young singers like himself. Kanye West, on the other hand, made it clear in October during a concert that he won't attend the Grammys if friend and colleague Frank Ocean isn't nominated.
Frank Ocean didn't submit his albums — Blonde or Endless — for consideration, resulting in a lack of nominations. Although Blonde was one of the best-reviewed albums of last year — and made Mic's best of list — Ocean decided to not submit his own albums because he feels the Grammys are dated.
"That institution certainly has nostalgic importance," Ocean told the New York Times. "It just doesn't seem to be representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down."
In the interview, Ocean noted that the ceremony has failed to properly award black artists and that just a few black artists have won the album of the year award. "I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated," he said.
While Frank Ocean couldn't earn any nominations, West's 2016 album, The Life of Pablo, earned him a total of eight Grammy nominations, including best rap album. While West may not show up to the ceremony, the chances of him winning an award are high as a result of so many nominations.
Ken Ehrlich, the executive producer of the Grammys, spoke to Entertainment Tonight about Bieber, Drake and West not attending. "Look, we'd love to have them again," he said. "We're actually still talking to Justin. Kanye, it's probably going to be a question of — if it will happen, it will or won't happen closer to the show."
"We've worked with Kanye many number of times and we've actually been very much involved in the successes that he's had," Ehrlich added. "Some of his greatest performances have been on the Grammys. I would sure love to see him in the house."
One of West's most memorable performances was in 2008 when he performed "Hey Mama" after the passing of his mother, Donda West.
Since it was reported that he would not be making an appearance at this year's award show, West has been very quiet on social media. He's tweeted only a few times in 2017, and his only tweet for the month of February has been in support of Big Sean's new album:
A surprise appearance from Kanye West at the 2017 Grammy Awards would make for a very memorable ceremony. As of right now, there are no plans for West to change his mind and make an appearance, but we've learned to expect the unexpected with him.
Mic has ongoing Grammys coverage. Please follow our main Grammys hub here.