Rihanna has cancelled her scheduled Grammy appearance, according to a report from TMZ. She attended rehearsals at Staples Center earlier today and those in attendance say Rihanna killed it with her performance of “Kiss Me Better,” which she was scheduled to perform tonight, but she chose not to walk the red carpet. The song is from Rihanna’s recently-released album, Anti.
Sources told TMZ that leading up to tonight’s scheduled Grammy performance, Rihanna had been taking medication for a case of bronchitis that she has been struggling with for a while. Billboard confirms she has been taking antibiotics for three days according to her rep. A doctor at the rehearsal for the 58th Annual Grammy Award reportedly recommended to Rihanna that she not perform tonight, advising her that to do so could cause her vocal cords to hemorrhage, permanently damaging them. He also suggested that she rest her throat for 48 hours. Rihanna decided to heed the doctor’s advice.
On Saturday night, Rihanna appeared with other stars including Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Demi Lovato, and Luke Bryan in Los Angeles in a MusiCares tribute to Lionel Richie. Rihanna wasn’t on the bill for that performance according to Entertainment Weekly. She gave an emotional performance of Richie’s Say You Say Me with an orchestra backing her up.
Rihanna’s latest album, Anti, was released on January 28 and sold a million copies in less than a day according to Capital FM. It is her eighth studio album. Rihanna initially gave the album away for free on Tidal to her Twitter followers because of the long wait of three years that they endured for its release. Rihanna has called the cover of the new album her favorite of all her albums.
Rolling Stone had this to say about Rihanna’s latest album.
“Anti is first and foremost an experience built on vibes. Where previous LPs were built around clear peaks, here the songs fit together into a fluid landscape of seamless transitions… Every song sounds like our collective fantasy of Rihanna: a carefree island girl lounging in a cloud of smoke, asserting a brand of independence that’s wholly her own… Anti‘s beats are more muted than the flashier productions of her past work, which leaves room for the album’s biggest revelation: Rihanna’s show-stopping vocal performances.”
Rihanna wasn’t the only scheduled Grammy performer who didn’t appear. Lauryn Hill was also reported to appear with The Weeknd, but, according to Vox, she did not perform for reasons given in this statement from Hill’s reps.
“The Grammy’s announced a performance by Ms. Lauryn Hill prematurely and without approval. Ms. Hill had concerts all weekend, leaving no time to prepare, and was uncertain she would even be able to make it to LA in time to rehearse for the event. Any performance that could have happened was never confirmed, and should not have been advertised as such. Ms. Hill was invited to do a collaboration with an artist she appreciates. The performance was intended to be a surprise and unfortunately due to its last minute nature, was unable to come to fruition.”
Rihanna is 27-years-old. She was born in the Barbados parish of Saint Michael in 1988. Rihanna’s music career began nine years ago. In that time, Rihanna has established herself as the youngest solo artist to have 13 number one singles on the Billboard 100. Rihanna has sold over 54 million albums and 210 million tracks across the world. She has won eight Grammys and 12 Billboard Music Awards. Rihanna’s second album, A Girl Like Me, went platinum and included two singles that went to number one on the Billboard charts, SOS and Unfaithful.
Rihanna is scheduled to begin her tour for Anti later this month.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]