Last night, the 2016 Grammys honored those in the music industry who passed away with its usual annual “In Memoriam” segment. But for some, the tribute to one artist wasn’t enough.
The family of Natalie Cole, who passed away on Dec. 31, 2015 at age 65, is extremely displeased that the late R&B, jazz and pop singer didn’t receive the same attention given to other deceased music legends at the Feb. 15 ceremony.
“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 a minute-and-a-half tribute,” said her son, Robert Adam Yancy, speaking to Entertainment Tonight. “It was shameless the way they minimized her legacy.”
“Words cannot express the outrage and utter disappointment at the disrespectful tribute, or lack thereof, to a legendary artist such as our sister,” Natalie’s sisters Timolin and Casey told ET.
Monday night’s ceremony featured on-air musical tributes to several other late artists — David Bowie, B.B. King, Maurice White, Lemmy Kilmister and Glenn Frey — but not Cole.
While there’s obviously no scientific way to determine whether one artist’s legacy outweighs another’s, it’s worth noting that Natalie Cole won more Grammys in her lifetime than four of the five performers who received on-air tributes: White won seven Grammys, Frey netted six, Bowie earned two Grammys, and Kilmister won one. Only B.B. King outpaced Cole’s Grammy total with 15 wins in his lifetime.