An executive producer of this year’s Grammy Awards ceremony apologized for the absence of some notable names in the event’s “In Memoriam” section but said the choice of those to be mentioned was not his.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Ken Winston – who took on the role last year – accepted that errors were made, with late Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison and Parliament–Funkadelic singer Calvin Simon among the artists who weren’t mentioned.
“Anybody who feels left out or feels almost snubbed by an in memoriam, I think from the bottom of our hearts, there can only be apologies,” Winston said. “We go into this show only wanting to bring joy and love to people with music.”
He explained that the list of names was given to him by the Recording Academy. Asked about the absence of reference to the music fans who died at last year’s Astroworld festival crush, he responded: “I think that’s a really fair point. I think, you know, maybe we should have done something.”
But he went on to argue that the Grammy event is still evolving, with changes including a new production company running the ceremony and the installation of Harvey Mason Jr. as head of the Academy. “I would meet artists on this journey over the last couple of years and they’d be like, ‘Well, the Grammys have done this and the Grammys have done that and it’s time for it to change,’” Winston said. “And I’m like, ‘Yeah, yeah! That’s why I’m here. That’s what we can do – be part of the change rather than just being angry about what’s gone before.’”