As tradition, the Grammys aired its In Memoriam segment during the Sunday (Feb. 10) ceremony. While the video honored the stars we lost in the past year including Mac Miller and Aretha Franklin, many noticed that XXXTentacion was missing from the clip. Well, according to a new report from Variety, the Recording Academy omitted X from the segment due to his past domestic abuse allegations.
According to the report, reps for the late rapper “requested repeatedly” for the Recording Academy to recognize X during the ceremony, but their pleas were quickly denied.
While organizers have not spoken on the matter following the televised program, Academy president Neil Portnow previously expressed hesitation in including XXX in the memoriam. “I will tell you it’s a daunting challenge,” Portnow told Rolling Stone in a Dec. 2018 interview. “We track those that we lose in our industry in any given year and then we have a process by which we go through it. Our on-air in memoriam — we’re lucky if we wind up [featuring] 10 to 15 percent of those we lose.”
Despite not appearing on the televised segment, the Academy released a longer list of names of artists and creatives who passed away in between 2018 and 2019 online . That list includes XXXTentacion.
As previously reported, before X’s death in June 2018, he was accused of beating his ex-girlfriend while she was pregnant. He was facing trial in the case, but it was dropped following his death. Even so, the controversy surrounding his alleged abuse resulted in a larger conversation of whether it is possible to separate music from an artist’s actions in the wake of the #MeToo movement.