Grammys Bosses Defend Natalie Cole Tribute
Grammys bosses have defended their tribute to late singer Natalie Cole following a backlash from her family. The singer, who died aged 65 on December 31, was remembered as part of the ‘In Memoriam’ segment of the music ceremony on Monday with a clip of her singing “Unforgettable” with her father Nat King Cole.
However, musicians David Bowie, The Eagles’ Glenn Frey, Motorhead’s Lemmy, and Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White received musical tributes, and Cole’s sisters were unhappy with the lack of recognition for Cole. Timolin and Casey told ET Online, “Sadly a FORGETTABLE tribute to Natalie Cole…Words cannot express the outrage and utter disappointment at the disrespectful tribute, or lack thereof, to a legendary artist such as our sister.” Her son Robert added, “Here is a woman who has been in the business for four decades, had 21 GRAMMY nominations and won nine GRAMMYs. She deserves more than (to be a part of) a minute-and-a-half tribute.” Grammy Awards producer Ken Ehrlich has now defended the way they remembered Cole telling Billboard, “I think it was appropriate.” He admits they had considered an onstage musical tribute, but when he discovered the footage he felt it was the best way to salute Cole, and her sister Timolin had seemed on board with the plan. He added, “For the record, there was an email exchange, and I told Timolin what we were doing, and she seemed to be very happy with it… when I looked again at the Grammy show we did where she won for “Unforgettable,” and I saw the last 45 seconds of that number… that just was so touching and so emotional to me that that felt like it had to be the end of the whole In Memoriam segment. I hadn’t looked at that clip in several years, but when I saw it again, I knew it was right.” Grammys broadcast co-writer David Wild said, “That clip really impacted him and he thought, he’s not gonna do better at Natalie than Natalie. When he found that clip and showed it to me, he was sort of in tears, because it meant so much to him.”