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The Grammys almost got Jay-Z to perform this year. Here's why he declined.

With hip-hop dominating nominations for the 60th Grammys, all eyes will be on how the ceremony will showcase a genre that has historically been underrepresented.

And while one of the night's highlight performances will surely come from Lamar (he's set to open the show with an explosive medley), the night's leading man, Jay-Z, declined to perform anything from his incredibly personal "4:44," show producers confirmed during rehearsals last week.

Weeks before Sunday's ceremony there were chats of a blowout performance that would trace rap's origins in New York starting with the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" and bowing with Jay's Grammy-winning "Empire State of Mind," according to a source close to production.

Although the rapper has been a major fixture at the Grammys (he's won 21 over his storied career), he's been vocal about his feelings about hip-hop's position with the Recording Academy — even protesting the ceremony by declining to attend for a number of years.

I didn't come back from 1998 to 2004 when a beautiful young lady, whom I love dearly, had a breakout album [that was] nominated," he said, nodding toward his wife Beyoncé's sweep at the 2004 ceremony.

READ MORE (Los Angeles Times)

  • Inside Clive Davis' starry pre-Grammy galaPage Six
  • 5 things you missed at the epic pre-Grammys party, a big night for Jay-Z and ...KHOU
  • JAY-Z Ended Boycott of GRAMMYs to Support Wife Beyonce's Solo DebutEntertainment Tonight
  • Jay-Z explains why he ended his Grammys boycott in 2004Wonderwall
  • Alicia Keys Honors Jay-Z, Jennifer Hudson Fetes Aretha Franklin at Clive Davis ...Variety
  • Clive Davis honored Jay-Z — and defied logic as usual — at his pre-Grammy galaLos Angeles Times
  • Jay Z Reveals How Beyoncé Inspired Him to End His 6-Year Grammys BoycottComplex
  • Clive Davis, Alicia Keys Honor Jay-Z at Pre-Grammys
  • Is Beyonce At The 2018 Grammys? The Award Show Wouldn't Be The Same Without ...Bustle

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The Grammys almost got Jay-Z to perform this year. Here's why he declined.


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