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Grammys Producers Respond to Natalie Cole In Memoriam Backlash

Grammys Producers Respond to Natalie Cole In Memoriam Backlash

Grammys execs are responding to Natalie Cole‘s family and friends, who expressed “outrage” over her In Memoriam at the show on Monday (February 15).

“Frankly, I think it was appropriate,” producer Ken Ehrlich told Billboard, adding it was “touching and emotional.” Natalie won nine Grammy awards in her lifetime and her family thought that warranted more than a short clip.

“For the record, there was an email exchange, and I told [Natalie's sister] what we were doing, and she seemed to be very happy with it. And what I told her is that we had talked about having an artist do something for Natalie; at one point I was playing around with ‘Miss You Like Crazy,’ because I love that song. But 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, where her father (Nat King Cole, on the big screen) throws her a kiss, she throws him a kiss, and then she turns to the audience and throws everybody a kiss — 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,” Ken added.

“Natalie Cole was one where I talked to Ken 10 seconds after we both found out that she passed, and he loved her,” David Wild, co-writer of the show, added. “Before she passed, we always would have her on the show to present, and she was one of his favorites. In fact, he went to her service.” Although there were discussions about who to get to cover her — the Grammys won’t speak to whether anyone was approached — “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.”

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