Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Kobe Bryant Death Throws the Already-Plagued Grammy Awards into Disarray at Staples Center


It’s as if the Grammy Awards are jinxed. Eight years ago, Whitney Houston died on the eve of the show, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The next day the Grammy Awards turned into a memorial service.

Now Kobe Bryant, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers in the Staples Center, has died tragically in a helicopter crash hours before the Grammys will be broadcast from the Staples Center.

The Grammy Awards are already a mess because of a variety of scandalous charges, accusations, and allegations. Host Alicia Keys was scheduled to open the show with a mashup song she’d written that reflected the chaos before Kobe’s death. Now, the whole thing is up in the air. What do you do when the star of your venue, beloved by millions, has died at age 41 in the prime of his life?

Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich has a huge challenge for his final show. He retires from the Grammys after tonight’s show. But first he has to get through it. There won’t be a dry eye in the house, and a pall will certainly overshadow what should be a night of musical celebration. Most of the Grammy performers and presenters will have known Kobe or have a deep connection to him.

But the show must go on.

Stay tuned…


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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