February 14th, 2011
06:39 PM ET
It seems that with every one of these award shows, at least one deceased star is noticeably absent during the "In Memoriam" tribute.
Farrah Fawcett was famously missing from the Academy Awards tribute last year, and this year's SAG awards left out Corey Haim (a subsequent statement explained that Haim had been included in a longer version of the tribute segment, but that a shorter version was used due to time constraints). At Sunday's Grammys, hip hop artist Guru (born Keith Elam) wasn’t included in the memorial round-up.
Guru's absence didn't go unnoticed, particularly by fellow artists. Q-Tip tweeted, "No mention of keith GURU elam?????? Come on," with Kanye West writing “RIP to Guru!!” during the Grammys broadcast. Questlove of the Roots recalled the omission of the late Dave Matthews Band saxophonist LeRoi Moore, asking, "Wait a minute, did they just dave mathews band Guru? In that tribute? Shame on you #grammys2011. Did I miss his passing?"
The musician passed away last April at the age of 43 from complications with cancer. He rose to fame in the '80s as one-half of the duo Gang Starr, and he later did a solo venture into jazz, creating a series of "Jazzmatazz"albums that blended the two genres.
Gang Starr's other half, DJ Premier, was equally frustrated by the Grammys tribute, questioning if one should even be caught off guard by the omission at all. “[Expletive] Grammy's didn't put GURU in the R.I.P. Of entertainers that passed away in 2010," he tweeted, asking, "why should I be surprised?"
CEO of the Recording Academy Neil Portnow addressed the issue of stars being left out backstage at the awards show Sunday, saying that the "In Memoriam segment is a conundrum."
"It's sad, we keep a list," Portnow went on. "This year over 200 people [have passed] so we have to make a selection at the end." While the Academy "tried to have a broad representation of genres, we are never happy to leave people out but we have a list in the program."
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