The Grammys air next Sunday on CBS, and to prepare for the big show (the 57th one in case you were wondering), the website HitsDoubleDay.com interviewed famed Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich. He has been producing the show, including the star-packed performances, for a whopping 35 years. That includes all of the really dope collaborations over the years, including Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performing with Madonna, Queen Latifah Mary Lambert and Trombone Shorty (where they had that huge mass wedding), Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons doing an awesome mash-up, and Pharrell, Daft Punk, Niles Rogers and Stevie Wonder doing their thing, which all took place last year: “I’m getting a chill just thinking about it.”
But when he was asked about any disappointments he’s had over the years when it comes to those huge performances, Ehrlich said Nicki Minaj’s performance of “Roman Holiday,” which many people panned back in 2012 as demonic…and just wack, was one he “was not proud of”:
“I was not proud of what we did with Nicki Minaj three years ago. I thought that was a disappointment both in terms of what we did and to an extent what she did. I’m not going to absolve us of any responsibility, but it just wasn’t good. If it had been controversial and good, I think I would have been proud of it. But we probably let out the string a little too much on that one.”
But Minaj isn’t the only memorable performance he wasn’t crazy about. Ehrlich said a performance Britney Spears did back when she was the hottest thing since sliced bread was another one that went left:
“We did a thing I don’t know how many years ago called “Britney’s Incredible Dream” when Britney was the biggest thing in the business. I thought I had to book her. We did this thing where it opened up with her in a bed as a little girl. Then she did—I don’t remember what song it was—“Baby One More Time.” I thought that was a mistake. But there are a lot of ’em in the middle, and there are dozens near the top. But when someone asks me that question, those are the two that come immediately to mind.”
Can you think of any Grammy performances over the years that were especially hard for you to watch? Do you think Minaj and Spears’ performances were really all that bad?