Another year, another GRAMMY telecast where rock and metal music is put on the backburner.
All of the rock categories and the lone Best Metal Performance category were on the pre-show, but saved until the very end. Other than a few minutes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers performing, rock was absent from the main show.
You are reminded of the massive the scope of the music industry when you sit and watch the GRAMMY pre-show livestream. There are so many different genres of music, it really puts into perspective. And, it was a big night for High on Fire – who certainly deserve the Best Metal Performance recognition after a career of putting out excellent music.
But it was stunning to see the Best Rock Song category omitted from the main show as well. Chris Cornell posthumously won the award, and it was incredibly moving to see two of his children accept the award on his behalf and pay tribute to their dad.
The In Memoriam segment included tributes to big names like Aretha Franklin, Mac Miller, Avicii, and Carol Channing. It did not include a tribute to one of the biggest names in heavy metal, late Hellyeah and Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott.
Much like Jeff Hanneman before him, the GRAMMY world ignored the loss of one of heavy metal's biggest icons.
While Abbott, as well as All That Remains guitarist Oli Herbert made the official list of "Those We Lost" in the GRAMMYs program, he did not make the final program.
Rolling Stone asked Academy president Neil Portnow how the list was determined for broadcast:
“I will tell you it’s a daunting challenge. 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. 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.”
Maybe they'll get it right one year.