Rihanna was one of two prominent women to back out of the Grammys at the last minute. Lauryn Hill was supposed to perform with The Weeknd, only to claim at the last minute that she was never scheduled to perform. Rihanna was supposed to debut a song off of her new album, ANTI, and she backed out literally minutes before the Grammys, citing medical reasons. Something about a possible vocal cord hemorrhage and/or bronchitis (both excuses were used officially). What’s weird about the excuses is that Rihanna was out and about for a solid week – she went to some pre-Grammy events, like the MusiCares Person of the Year event on Saturday, where she performed and apparently sang flawlessly. She was also in New York last week for fashion week, where she presented her latest FENTY collection. So… what happened? TMZ doesn’t know, but they’re side-eyeing the “bronchitis” story:
Rihanna was screaming and hysterical before she bailed on the Grammys, but there are conflicting stories about what triggered her outburst. Sources connected with the show, and several sources who were not connected but present at the show, tell TMZ … the singer was loudly expressing displeasure over her rehearsal. They say she was loud and upset and, as we first reported, bailed on the event.
Rihanna’s people say she had a medical issue … bronchitis that was so bad she could not perform and that’s why she left. Sources close to RiRi tell us she was too upset to stay and watch the show.
It’s interesting … Rihanna sang flawlessly two nights before the Grammys at a Lionel Richie charity event. Several sources say her voice was also great at the Grammys rehearsal.
There was an excellent joke on Twitter that Rihanna saw Kendrick Lamar during rehearsals and she was like, “Nah, I’ll skip the Grammys, I can’t compete with that.” Here’s another theory: Rihanna might have realized that this year’s Grammys telecast was going to be friggin’ amateur hour with terrible sound mixing, editing and general f—kups. I mean, how terrible do you have to be to make ADELE sound bad? Or maybe it had nothing to do with any of that and Rihanna was just throwing a hissy for some other reason. Who knows? It feels like it’s been so long since she’s had an album to promote, maybe she’s rusty.
Photos courtesy of Getty.