There’s really only one story this week. “Music’s biggest night,” as they term the Grammy Awards, is under a cloud this year, as CEO/President Deborah Dugan was placed on administrative leave earlier this week by the Recording Academy as an investigation is underway into complaints about her tenure.
Considering Dugan has only been on duty since August, the action was shocking. The first female head of the Recording Academy, her enemies are already dirtying her up in the press, dropping hints of cruelty to an underling, inability to work with the Board of Directors.
Her attorney has already indicated Dugan will fight back when she gets the opportunity, so expect either a quiet settlement or a truly ugly battle that will rend and tear the institution.
This week in music:
GRAMMYS PERFORMERS: Aside from executive turmoil, the Grammys will also spotlight music. Scheduled to perform: Aerosmith + Run-DMC, Ariana Grande, Blake Shelton + Gwen Stefani, Billie Eilish, Bonnie Raitt (John Prine Tribute Performance), Camila Cabello, Charlie Wilson, Demi Lovato, H.E.R., Jonas Brothers, Lizzo, Rosalia and Tyler, the Creator
SUPER DEMI: Demi Lovato said she would ease back into performances after struggling with her mental health. Apparently easing back means the Grammy Awards and singing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, i.e., two of the biggest audiences in the world.
MELLE MEL GETS A ROLE: The iconic rapper has a pivotal cameo role in the just-wrapped 3 Days Rising” that shot in West Orange, NJ. He plays a crime scene photographer of all things in this thriller inspired by the Edgar Allan Poe classic, The Fall of the House of Usher. The film is produced by actor/rapper Ice-T, who also stars, Noel Ashman, Mickey Rourke, Peter Greene, Frank Whaley, Joseph D’Onofrio, Bo Dietl and Rachel Hilbert.
EMINEM OUTRAGES: Rapper Eminem’s new album is drawing attention for a song in which he puts himself in the shoes of a suicide bomber. The song, Unaccommodating, is part of Music to Be Murdered By, which dropped on Friday. The lyric that has prompted negative reaction is: I’m contemplating yelling ‘bombs away’ on the game/like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting. Eminem helped raise money for the Manchester victims in the wake of the attack.
iHEART RADIO CUTS: As many as 850 program directors and on-air talent were axed in a corporate shakeup earlier this week. In a statement regarding these “dislocated” DJs, iHeart said: “We are modernizing our company to take advantage of the significant investments we have made in new technology and aligning our operating structure to match the technology-powered businesses we are now in.”