Grammy bosses apologise for show glitches and deny 'race problem'

Organisers of the Grammys have apologised for glitches which marred the show – after denying the awards have a “race problem”.

The star-studded ceremony saw a microphone fail to work for Metallica singer James Hetfield during the band’s performance with Lady Gaga and an incorrect photo displayed of lifetime achievement winner Shirley Caesar.

Ken Ehrlich, long-time producer of the Grammys, described the Metallica mishap as “awful” and admitted he had failed to check the montage clip which was meant to show Caeser.

Metallica’s James Hetfield and Lady Gaga perform at the Grammys (Matt Sayles/AP)

“These kinds of things are horrible when they happen,” he told the Associated Press.

“That’s one of the risks of live television.

“Obviously, we apologise to the band. We obviously want to apologise to Shirley Caesar. It’s unfortunate that happened.

“When you do a three-and-a-half hour live show, it’s fraught with danger. It was an adventurous show in many ways.”

Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy (left), with executive producer Ken Ehrlich, Grammys host James Corden, and Jack Sussman, CBS executive vice president (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Ehrlich’s comments come after Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy, responded to criticism about the lack of black artists to win album of the year

Herbie Hancock was the last black artist to win the award in 2008, while Beyonce’s Lemonade lost out this year to Adele’s 25.

Portnow told music magazine Pitchfork: “I don’t think there’s a race problem at all.

“Remember, this is a peer-voted award. So when we say the Grammys, it’s not a corporate entity – it’s the 14,000 members of the academy.

Beyonce missed out on the album of the year award (Matt Sayles/AP)

“We don’t, as musicians, in my humble opinion, listen to music based on gender or race or ethnicity.”

Ehrlich also revealed plans had been discussed to include James Corden, Beyonce and Rihanna in Adele’s musical tribute to George Michael.

Michael Lippman, George’s long-time manager, had reportedly suggested the idea, with each artist taking a different song including Freedom and One More Try.

Adele (Matt Sayles/AP)

Speaking to Billboard, Ehrlich said it quickly became evident “how passionate Adele was and that she had a vision for what she wanted to do with it.”

Adele performed a slowed down version of Michael’s song Fast Love at the Grammys after restarting her first rendition.


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