R&B superstar Rihanna abruptly canceled her performance at Monday’s Grammys, the music industry’s top awards, citing vocal problems due to illness.
Rihanna was spotted entering the Staples Center in Los Angeles, but the ceremony went ahead, skipping her performance.
“So sorry I couldn’t be there,” Rihanna wrote to her more than 56 million Twitter followers, thanking the Grammys and broadcaster CBS.
A representative for the Barbados-born singer said that she left on doctor’s advice.
“Based on Rihanna’s examination after Grammy rehearsal today, Rihanna’s doctor put her on vocal rest for 48 hours because she was at risk of hemorrhaging her vocal cords,” the statement said.
“The antibiotics she has been on for three days did not kill the infection adequately. Therefore she could not perform safely,” it said.
Rihanna, who is due to start a global tour later this month, was scheduled to sing “Kiss It Better” from her new album “Anti.”
In one of the most notorious incidents in recent Grammy history, Rihanna was forced to cancel her performance in 2009 after she was beaten up by her then boyfriend, rapper Chris Brown, who later pleaded guilty to a felony.
Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy which administers the Grammys, said that producers understood the situation and hoped that Rihanna felt better soon.
But he was critical of another artist who did not appear — R&B and rap star Lauryn Hill.
Portnow said that the former Fugee had planned to come on stage as a surprise during the performance by Canadian R&B singer The Weeknd but did not show up.
She went to the dress rehearsal Monday and “left the building and then did not get back in time to make the show,” he told reporters.
“It’s disappointing to us (and) I’m sure disappointing to her,” he said, adding: “We were ready up until the moment of the downbeat of that performance for her to step on stage.”
He denied a different account by the star, who said that she had no time to prepare and had been unsure she would even make it to Los Angeles for the Grammys.
“The Grammys announced a performance by Ms. Lauryn Hill prematurely and without approval,” her representative said in a statement.
“Ms. Hill was invited to do a collaboration with an artist she appreciates. The performance was intended to be a surprise and unfortunately due to its last-minute nature, was unable to come to fruition,” it said.
Hill won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 1999 for “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” now considered a classic.
But she has since had a mixed career that has included a brief prison term on a charge of tax evasion.