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Grapevine: Kanye, Bieber, Drake will not attend Grammys

Melody Baetens, The Detroit News

Bieber, Kanye and Drake will not attend Grammys

Several high-profile music stars will not attend this year’s Grammy Awards. Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Drake are, for now, saying they won’t go to the ceremony. According to TMZ, it’s not a protest; it’s more because the Grammys are considered “out of touch and arguably irrelevant.” TMZ does note, however, that this may stem from recent comments Frank Ocean made to the New York Times about his choice to not submit his two 2016 albums for Grammy consideration. “It just doesn’t seem to be representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down,” Ocean told the New York Times in November, noting that in his own lifetime just a few black artists have won Album of the Year. “I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated,” he said. “I’d rather this be my Colin Kaepernick moment for the Grammys than sit there in the audience.” Ocean lost the Album of the Year award to Mumford & Sons in 2013. He also was nominated for Album of the Year for his work on Beyoncé’s self-titled album in 2015 but lost to Beck. TMZ reports that Bieber, who has four nominations, isn’t attending because he thinks the Grammys aren’t relevant. Drake has eight nominations but has booked a European tour. West, who has 21 Grammys, also has eight nominations this year, but TMZ points out that he has always lost when up against a white musician. This year’s Album of the Year nominees are Drake and West for Drake’s “Views,” which West produced, Bieber’s “Purpose,” Adele’s “25,” Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” and Sturgill Simpson’s “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth.” The Grammy Awards air Feb. 12 on CBS.

Affleck steps down from directing ‘The Batman’

Ben Affleck will still produce and star in the upcoming film “The Batman,” but he has decided to step down as director, Variety reports. Affleck confirms the news in a statement, adding that Warner Bros. and he have “decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film.” He adds that the role demands focus and passion and says he’s “extremely committed to this project and looks forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world.”

Oprah will be special contributor to ‘60 Minutes’

When CBS news program “60 Minutes” starts its 50th season this fall, it will return with Oprah Winfrey as a “special contributor.” The Associated Press reports that Winfrey will contribute occasional reports. With her features said she wants to “look at what separates us, and help facilitate real conversations between people from different backgrounds.”

Classic rocker John Wetton died

Singer and bassist John Wetton died this week of colon cancer at the age of 67. The British musician was known for his work with a variety of prog and classic rock groups, including Uriah Heep, Roxy Music, Wishbone Ash and King Crimson. In the ’80s, he was the main songwriter in Asia with Geoff Downes, Steve Howe and Carl Palmer. “John was a gentle person who created some of the most lasting melodies and lyrics in modern popular music,” said Palmer in a statement. Wetton and Downes co-wrote Asia’s first hit single “Heat of the Moment,” which Wetton sang.

Compiled by Melody Baetens

Wednesday’s Birthdays

Lisa Marie Presley, 49

Michael C. Hall, 46

Big Boi, 42

Lauren Conrad, 31

Ronda Rousey, 30

Harry Styles, 23