Rihanna was M.I.A. at the 2016 Grammys (Feb. 15) after canceling her performance due to bronchitis per doctor’s orders, Billboard can confirm. She was slated to sing “Kiss It Better,” the smooch-y jam off her recent release Anti, for the 58th annual ceremony.
Her rep says that the singer’s doctor put her on vocal rest for 48 hours because she “was at risk of hemorrhaging her vocal cords.” Rihanna had been taking antibiotics for three days, though the meds “did not kill the infection adequately.”
She arrived at Los Angeles’ Staples Center to rehearse her performance but did not walk the red carpet. She “killed it at rehearsal,” per a source. The last-minute cancelation comes several days after she debuted her Fenty Puma by Rihanna collection in New York City on Friday.
“#NAVY so sorry I couldn’t be there ….. Thanks Grammys and CBS for your support tonight,” Rihanna tweeted.
“We got word from her folks that she was taking antibiotics, she made rehearsal and it was OK,” Recording Academy President Neil Portnow told L.A. Times. “But the doctor came in and examined her and said you have a risk if you sing. We regret that, we were all looking forward to her performance. She regrets it. But that’s what happens with live events.”
#NAVY so sorry I couldn’t be there ….. Thanks Grammys and CBS for your support tonight.
— Rihanna (@rihanna) February 16, 2016
Riri’s long-awaited eighth studio album Anti hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart dated Feb. 20, marking the diva’s second No. 1 effort. “Kiss It Better” has so far reached No. 42 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
Rihanna is expected to embark on her Anti world tour later this month.