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Kanye West barred from performing at 2022 Grammy Awards

The rapper has been dropped due to "concerning online behaviour"

By Joe Goggins

Kanye West at the 2020 Oscars
Kanye West. CREDIT: Alamy

Kanye West has been barred from performing at this year’s Grammy Awards, a representative for the rapper has confirmed.

The decision, announced on Saturday (March 19), came a day after West was handed a 24 hour suspension from Instagram for responding to criticism from ‘The Daily Show’ host Trevor Noah with a racial slur.

The platform said that West had breached its rules on “hate speech and bullying and harassment”, after Noah had criticised posts relating to West’s ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, and her new boyfriend, comedian Pete Davidson. Now, Variety has confirmed a report that originally emerged in The Blast late on Friday (March 18) that West had been informed he would not be allowed to perform at the ceremony on April 3 due to his “concerning online behaviour”.

West has racked up 22 Grammy wins from 75 nominations in the past and is up for five prizes this year, including Album of the Year for ‘Donda’. The ceremony will air live on network television in the U.S., and the potential for West to go off-script appears to have spooked producers. 

He has a long history of controversy on live TV, from his blunt assertion that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” during a fundraising telecast for victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to his infamous interruption of Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.

His conduct in recent weeks has concerned onlookers, from sharing private text message correspondence between himself and Kardashian to releasing a claymation music video for his The Game collaboration ‘Eazy’ in which he appears to bury Davidson alive.

It prompted Noah to call West out for his harassment of his ex-wife on ‘The Daily Show’ last week. “You may not feel sorry for Kim because she’s rich and famous,” he said. “But what she’s going through is terrifying to watch and shines a spotlight on what so many women go through when they choose to leave.”

However, addressing the news that West had been axed from the lineup of Grammy performers, Noah said on Twitter on Sunday that “I said counsel Kanye not cancel Kanye.” A source close to him confirmed to CNN that he personally had nothing to do with the decision to drop West from the telecast.