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.