If you watched the Grammys this past Sunday night (no one would blame you if you didn’t), then you most likely saw the award show’s “In Memoriam” segment. While you probably cheered when seeing Ronnie James Dio mentioned, you might have noticed two names that WERE NOT mentioned: Slipknot’s Paul Gray and Type O Negative’s Peter Steele. Both metal stars passed away last year, and both got snubbed at this year’s Grammys. Granted, it really is no surprise that the Grammys forgot these metal artists (they snubbed A7X’s The Rev during last year’s “In Memoriam”), but it still leaves us asking “what gives?” Well, Neil Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), gave the following explanation behind why many deceased artists are left out of the segment:
“Well the ‘In Memoriam’ segment is a real conundrum, because we keep a list — and it’s a sad job — of when we lose people in our industry, actually, starting this past week [for next year’s awards show], because if it’s very late, it’s not something we can factor in. And this past year we had over 300 people in the industry pass, and many of them — all of them — important, so we have to, at the end of the day, make a selection, and you can’t get everybody there, and we try to have a broad representation of different genres and generations and so on. We’re never happy with how that exactly turns out, [but] we have the list of everybody [who died] in our program book every year.”
It’s understandable that a bunch of names would be missed from the list, and in no way are we trying to say that the Grammys left Gray and Steele’s names out because of a personal vendetta. But seeing that Slipknot actually won a Grammy in 2006 and have been nominated six times, let alone are one of the biggest metal/hard rock groups currently, you’d think it would have been slightly important to mention Gray’s name in the segment. Right?
You can watch the “In Memoriam” segment from this year’s Grammy show above (and see Dio get his worthy acknowledgement), while video of Portnow giving his explanation can be seen after the jump. While you’re at it, you should also check out an interview Metal Insider recently did with Slipknot’s Clown, where he discusses Paul Gray and what lays ahead of Slipknot and his new project Black Dots Of Death.