During the 2021 Grammy Awards, Wolfgang Van Halen revealed that he declined an invitation to perform during the show. They asked him to perform during the In Memoriam segment of the show, to honor his late father, Eddie Van Halen. He explained on social media why he declined the invitation.
Wolfgang wrote, “The GRAMMYS asked me to play Eruption for the ‘In Memoriam’ section and I declined. I don’t think anyone could have lived up to what my father did for music but himself. It was my understanding that there would be an ‘In Memoriam’ section where bits of songs were performed for legendary artists that had passed. I didn’t realize that they would only show Pop for 15 seconds in the middle of 4 full performances for others we had lost.”
Wolfgang Van Halen declined an invitation to perform at the Grammys
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) March 15, 2021
The musical tributes shown were for Little Richard, Kenny Rogers, John Prine, and Gerry Marsden. Wolfgang went on to criticize the show and the academy. He continued, “What hurt the most was that he wasn’t even mentioned when they talked about artists we lost in the beginning of the show. I know rock isn’t the most popular genre right now, (and the academy does seem a bit out of touch) but I think it’s impossible to ignore the legacy my father left on the instrument, the world of rock, and music in general. There will never be another innovator like him.”
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) February 27, 2021
He added that his father probably wouldn’t care, but it still bothered him. Wolfgang concluded, “I’m not looking to start some kind of hate parade here, I just wanted to explain my side. I know Pop would probably just laugh it off and say ‘Ehh who gives a s—?’ He was only about the music anyway. The rest didn’t matter. I’d love to get the opportunity to speak with The Recording Academy not only about the legacy of my father, but the legacy of the Rock genre moving forward. Thank you.”
Many Eddie Van Halen fans echoed Wolfgang’s thoughts on social media. They thought he deserved more. Eddie sadly passed away in October 2020 at the age of 65. He had battled cancer for many years. Do you agree with Wolfgang’s thoughts and why he declined the performance?