Entertainment behind the scenes
Chris Brown, Rihanna last-minute Grammy no-shows
Grammy organizers had to play a quick game of musical chairs on Sunday when two of the awards show’s top-billed performers dropped out shortly before the telecast.
Late Sunday, news broke that top-selling R&B singer Chris Brown, who has been romantically linked to pop singer Rihanna, was under investigation by Los Angeles police for attacking an unidentified woman after an argument in his car early Sunday morning, hours before he was scheduled to perform his hit single “Forever” at the Grammys.
Then shortly later, before Rihanna’s scheduled performance, reporters backstage were handed a tersely-worded notice by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences saying the singer would not be performing at the Grammys.
“We have just been informed that Rihanna will not be attending tonight’s 51st Annual Grammy Awards. We’re sorry she is unable to join us,” the academy said in a brief statement that did not offer any further explanation.
But the show must go on and so two stars, pop icon Justin Timberlake and R&B legend Al Green stepped in to fill in the slot where Rihanna had been slated to perform her latest hit, “Disturbia” early on in the telecast.
“We had 2 hours and 40 minutes to rehearse it,” said Green backstage. “I thrive on that kind of energy becuase it is just spontaneous.”
Brown, who released his first album in 2005 at the age of 16, the self-titled “Chris Brown,” topped the charts with his hit single “Run it.” Barbados-born Rihanna has already logged four Number 1 singles since breaking onto the charts in 2005. In 2007, she scored a Grammy for her hit “Umbrella,” a collaboration with the rapper Jay-Z.