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Jay Z's longtime boycott of the Grammys eventually came to an end, thanks in part to Beyoncé. But, according to a new report from The Los Angeles Times, he was slated to perform during this year's awards show and declined.
The show's executive producer, Ken Ehrlich, explained that they expected Jay to perform until two weeks before rehearsals.
"We've been kind of quiet about that," Ehlrich said. "We had a conversation that we thought was going to lead to a performance and really only two weeks ago he basically said he'd rather not. He wanted to come and enjoy the show. And I understand."
Leading up to the awards, there were rumors that the night would include a performance that traced rap's origins in New York—concluding with Jay's "Empire State of Mind." Commenting on Jay's decision to skip the performance, Ehlrich says, "This is not a man who has been under-tributed. His life has been full of these moments; he's given us a couple great ones too. But still, there was that conversation of, 'Are you sure?'"
During a Pre-Grammy Gala on Saturday night, Jay said he originally developed a sour taste for the Grammys when DMX was excluded from the nominations after releasing two albums that sold 900,000 copies. Over time, he says he became less emotional about the awards, and eventually ended his boycott when Beyoncé's Dangerously in Love was nominated.
"I realized that art is super-subjective," Jay Z said. "The academy, they are human like we are and they are voting on things they like. And we can pretend we don't care, but we do. We really care because we are seeing the most incredible artists stand on that stage and we aspire to be that—and so I was like, 'I have to be there.' And that's the idea for all of us to come together to push this thing further. Now what happens at the Grammys, it is what it is."
Jay Z was nominated for eight Grammys at this year's awards, including Best Album of the Year. Stay up to date on all the night's winners here.