Some of the biggest stars in the world flocked to the 58 Annual Grammy Awards took place in Los Angeles last night, but one of music’s most prominent stars was noticeably absent.
Rihanna, who was announced as a performer for the big show last week, was a no-show at the annual music celebration, which had fans wondering why the “We Found Love” singer opted to skip out on the prestigious event.
While fans speculated about Rihanna’s whereabouts, James Corden cleared up the controversy surrounding Rihanna’s absence on The Late Late Show following the ceremony, where he revealed that he was actually set to be a part of the superstars much-anticipated performance.
“A couple of weeks ago I got asked if I would introduce Rihanna on the show,” Corden said on the late night talk show. “I got a call saying Rihanna’s got this big thing planned for her song ‘Kiss it Better,’ and she’s doing a whole ’80s talk show thing, and what she wants you to do is be like an ’80s talk show host.”
“I’d introduce Rihanna and then at the end she’d come and sit with me, like it was its own talk show,” Corden continued, before recalling the moment he was told, just minutes before Rihanna was scheduled to perform, that Rihanna wouldn’t actually be taking to the stage.
“So today, I get all dressed up, this morning a guy came, measured me for an ’80s suit. I get down there, do the red carpet, tell everyone I’m going to be introducing Rihanna, she’s asked me personally to be part of it, it’s amazing,” James Corden told the Late Late Show audience.
“Then I get to the end of the red carpet and they say Rihanna’s pulled out of the show,” he admitted. “She’s been told by a doctor she’s not allowed to sing, and could really damage her voice.”
Recording Academy President Neil Portnow also dished on Rihanna’s absence following the show, confirming that she pulled out shortly before she was scheduled to take to the stage. Portnow confessed in the press room after the show that “the doctor came in and examined Rihanna and said ‘you have a risk if you sing.'”
“We got word from [Rihanna’s] folks that she was taking antibiotics, she made rehearsal and it was okay,” Portnow added, “But we regret that, we were all looking forward to her performance. Rihanna regrets it. But that’s what happens with live events.”
Billboard first reported that Rihanna would not be performing at the Grammys, or walking the red carpet on February 15, shortly before Rihanna was expected at the show.
The site also confirmed that Rihanna was originally scheduled to perform the track “Kiss It Better” from her surprise new album, Anti, but an unfortunate bout of bronchitis kept her from attending the ceremony.
According to Rihanna’s rep, who spoke to Billboard before the Grammys, Rihanna “was at risk of haemorrhaging her vocal cords” if she performed at the big awards show. As a result, she was put on immediate vocal rest by her doctor.
As for Rihanna’s very sudden cancellation, her rep revealed that Rihanna was still hoping to perform and had been preparing for the performance for the past three days by taking antibiotics, although her medication “did not kill the infection adequately.”
A source revealed to the site that Rihanna was so determined to perform that she even attended rehearsals in the days prior to the big show, where an insider confessed that Rihanna “killed it” performing “Kiss It Better.”
But despite opting to stay on bed rest than risk her health, Rihanna still took the time to apologize to her fans on social media for skipping the big show.
“#NAVY so sorry I couldn’t be there,” Rihanna wrote on Twitter on February 15, adding, “Thanks Grammys and CBS for your support tonight.”
[Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for FENTY PUMA]