Grammys memoriam: Where was Guru?
February 14th, 2011
06:39 PM ET

Grammys memoriam: Where was Guru?

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."

Filed under: Awards Season • Grammys

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Sherrie

    As much as we all will miss Whitney what happened to ETTA JAMES I guess even in death we can be swept under a rug. Is this taking care of our own? anyway WE WILL ALWAYS LOVE & MISS YOU ALL RIP & MAY YOUR SOULS BE SINGING FREE & THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR GIFTS WITH US.

    February 13, 2012 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. Amanda

    Why not take Steve Jobs out and put people like Guru or Etta James in....

    February 12, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Child, Please!

    You soul-less jackals who are posting negatively against Guru (a TRUE lyrical wonder and artist) have to give an account of your stupidity and serious lack of empathy. * smh *

    February 15, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bill Bixby


    February 15, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  5. 2011 Model


    February 15, 2011 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. baby daddy

    Guru can eat my doo doo.

    February 15, 2011 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  7. Shauna K.

    Why wasn't Michael K. Bain nominated for anything? His music is awesome with a capital A!

    February 15, 2011 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ashley

    Why should a TV star be honored at an Movies award show? Its completely stupid.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. TwinkleToes

    I want him to suck on my weiner

    February 15, 2011 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  10. Rafael Moreira


    February 15, 2011 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  11. Anon


    And F*** The Grammys. Idiots.

    February 14, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John Zimmer

    I don't really care who was snubbed by being left out of the Grammy In Memoriam...I'd prefer to read a list of who WAS included !!!

    February 14, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |

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