There are lots of reasons why stars don't bother to attend the Grammys. If their category isn't among the dozen or so included in the prime-time telecast, they snub the show because they don't feel it's worth their while to make the trip to L.A. if they live out of town. Often, they have to pay for the trek themselves, so they're all the more reluctant to dole out the travel costs. Sometimes, they just don't want to face the public humiliation of losing, especially if they've endured a string of painful defeats in the past.
Of course, nominees never confess such selfish reasons out loud, so Grammy fans never know why so many nominees don't bother to attend the daylong ceremony during which trophies are dispensed in more than 100 categories. But, in fact, most nominees don't show. When journalists ask Grammy contenders about their absences, the nominees come up with curious answers.
Prior to the Grammys, a reporter covering the grand opening of the Atlanta Museum Bar asked Fantasia Barrino, an eight-time loser, if she planned to attend the recent Grammys where she competed in three R&B categories. EntertainmentReporters.com reported, "In her words, she is boycotting an institution that she feels has turned their back on R&B singers with its noticeable lack of recognition in recent years."
The former "American Idol" champ ended up winning best female R&B vocal performance for "Bittersweet" and an embarrassing moment occurred when she failed to show up at the podium to accept the trophy during the non-televised portion of Grammy day. None of Fantasia's categories were included in the telecast.
Afterward, she confessed a different reason for not being present at the Grammys: She wasn't invited to participate in the tribute to Aretha Franklin that opened the show.
On Monday, she telephoned the BET TV show "106 and Park," saying, "They were honoring someone who is my idol, Aretha Franklin, and there is no way I could have sat there and not got the happy feet and wanting to jump on the mike because she is my favorite, so I felt like, you know, at the end of the day I should have been on that stage, so, I kind of did my own little thing last night."
It's possible, in retrospect, that she regrets not attending, considering she finally won a Grammy. She told BET TV viewers, "Actually, I scared my daughter because I just busted out and started crying, and she thought something was wrong with me. You know it's been a long time coming."
-- Tom O'Neil
Photo: Fantasia Barrino arrives at the Grammys in Los Angeles in 2009. Credit: Danny Moloshok / Reuters.