Grammys Producer Ken Ehrlich Responds to Ariana Grande Tweets: “It Was a Surprise”

Earlier this week, Ariana Grande spoke out publicly about her decision not to attend or perform at the 61st Grammy Awards, which will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles tomorrow, Sunday, February 10. She called out Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich, who had given an interview about her absence and said that the singer “felt it was too late for her to pull something together.” Ariana tweeted that he was “lying”: “I can pull together a performance over night and you know that, Ken. It was when my creativity & self-expression was stifled by you, that I decided not to attend,” she said.

Now, Ehrlich has responded to Ariana in an interview with Rolling Stone. “I saw those tweets and what she said. I guess it was a surprise,” he said. “I will say this, and they don’t want me to say it but I’m going to say it: The thing that probably bothered me more than whatever else she said about me is when she said I’m not collaborative.”

He also stated that he “usually does not have this happen,” and that he never spoke with Ariana directly, instead corresponding with her management team. “I don’t know if I’m good at anything else, but I understand artists and I can hear other artists in an artist,” he told Rolling Stone. “I don’t say to people, ‘This is what you should do.’ I approach it casually and say, hey, this might be a good idea, let’s find something in the middle.”

Ehrlich went on to describe other instances in which he has coordinated Grammy performances with artists such as Ricky Martin and Mary J. Blige. The full quote reads:

The fact of the matter is — and I actually wrote a little thing in the
middle of the night that I’m not going to do anything about, but, I
mean. You can ask Christina Aguilera, who I asked to do “It’s a Man’s
World” for James Brown. You can ask Melissa
Etheridge, who finished her cancer treatment and I put her out on
stage, bald, doing Janis Joplin. You can ask Ricky Martin who
overnight became the creator of the Latin music revolution. Ask Mary
J. Blige, who was scared shitless to go out there and do “No More
Drama.” I basically worked with her to mold it. Ask H.E.R. who’s in
this show.

Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for Ken Ehrlich for further comment. Follow all of Pitchfork’s coverage of this year’s Grammy Awards.

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