As the tradition goes, during the prestigious music awards, the Recording Academy puts together a special segment in memoriam of those who had passed away since the prior year’s ceremony.
During the 2019 Grammys; the montage included artists such as Mac Miller, Avicii and Aretha Franklin; among other executives, producers and industry players. However, one artist in particular was notably absent from Sunday’s (Feb. 10) presentation.
XXXTentacion, born Jahseh Onfroy, was fatally shot in Florida this past summer. He was omitted from this year’s In Memoriam segment at the Grammys. According to sources close to the Recording Academy, the rapper’s exclusion was not an oversight, but rather a decision made when factoring in his highly publicized criminal record and polarizing reputation.
According to Variety, XXXTentacion’s omission was due to his “history of domestic violence.” Additionally, the report adds that representatives for the late artist made multiple requests on his behalf, asking for him to be included in the televised special.
Back in December 2018, president of the Recording Academy Neil Portnow, commented on the matter by referring to the process of deciding who to include in the segment as a “daunting task.”
“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,” Portnow shared in an interview with Rolling Stone. “Our on-air in memoriam—we’re lucky if we wind up [featuring] 10 to 15 percent of those we lose because it’s always hard choices. All of that is to say, I don’t have any answers for you now, but obviously artists who were prominent and well-known by the public are people who are recognized and we’ll just wind up having to see how it plays out.”
XXXTentacion, despite his well-documented alleged violent past and unresolved criminal charges of aggravated battery of a pregnant woman prior to his death, rose to prominence in 2017. His debut album, 17, was released in August 2017 and went on to debut at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.
At the time of this report, a representative for Portnow or the Recording Academy has not issued a statement commenting on XXXTentacion’s omission in the televised segment. However, XXXTentacion does appear in an extended version of the In Memoriam list on the official Grammys site.