Sunday night’s Grammy Awards show was filled with tributes to artists who passed away in the previous year, most notably Lady Gaga’s extended medley of David Bowie songs. But now, the family of one star who didn’t receive a special tribute is voicing their displeasure.
Singer Natalie Cole was remembered at the Grammys during the In Memoriam segment but her family told Entertainment Tonight that they were very upset that Cole did not receive additional screen time.
“Sadly a FORGETTABLE tribute to Natalie Cole,” Cole’s sisters, Timolin and Casey, said following the Grammys. “Words cannot express the outrage and utter disappointment at the disrespectful tribute or lack thereof, to a legendary artist such as our sister.”
Yikes, those are some strong words, and Cole’s family wasn’t finished there.
“Here is a woman who has been in the business for four decades, had 21 GRAMMY nominations and won nine GRAMMYs. She deserves more than (to be a part of) a minute-and-a-half tribute,” Cole’s son Robert Adam Yancy told ET. “It was shameless the way they minimized her legacy. We will find solace in her legacy as well as her endless fans around the world.”
In addition to Bowie, Lionel Richie, B.B. King and The Eagles’ Glenn Frey all received their own musical tributes during the ceremony. No one associated with the Grammys has spoken out about the Cole family’s comments as of yet, but it’s possible producers just couldn’t fit another tribute into a telecast that at times felt like it was moving at a snail’s pace.
Cole passed away at the age of 65 on New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles due to idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension. She was best known as the singer of R&B classics like ‘Unforgettable’ and ‘This Will Be’. She first rose to fame as a child, singing alongside her famous father, Nat King Cole.
Other artists and fans also spoke out about the snub on Twitter.
Natalie Cole died 2 wks b4 David Bowie did, won more Grammys than he did, yet David got a proper tribute than she did? @TheGRAMMYs, U f’d up
— Denise (@Cocosilk73) February 16, 2016
“We lost so many greats but Natalie Cole 1st African American to win Best New Artist deserved a tribute #Gmmys #BHM,” wrote Holly Robinson Peete on her account.
Starpulse put together a list of Cole’s 11 Most Notable Songs shortly after her death.