UPDATE: Lauryn Hill did not perform with the Weeknd at the Grammys. Hill’s camp has issued a statement:
The Grammys announced a performance by Ms. Lauryn Hill prematurely and without approval. Ms. Hill had concerts all weekend, leaving no time to prepare, and was uncertain she would even be able to make it to LA in time to rehearse for the event. Any performance that could have happened was never confirmed, and should not have been advertised as such. 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.
For their part, a Grammy spokesperson placed the blame on Hill, saying she “showed up during rehearsals, but arrived too late for the performance.”
Don’t write off the possibility that tonight will be remembered as the night the Weeknd ruled the Grammys. Abel Tesfaye is up for Album Of The Year and Record Of The Year plus five other categories, tied with Taylor Swift for second most nominations overall. And now it looks like Lauryn Hill is performing with the Weeknd during tonight’s broadcast, almost exactly 20 years after the release of the album that made her a star.
Complex points to a series of Instagram posts that paint a pretty convincing picture that Hill will be part of Tesfaye’s performance. Most of them originate from the account of a law student and musician named Selim Zion. One since-deleted post shows Hill on stage with Tesfaye during rehearsals, while another one from the same setting claims the two singers will be performing together tonight. There’s also a picture of Hill’s assigned seat at the Staples Center. Besides Zion’s tweets, Hill’s guitarist Jordan Peters posted last night about boarding an overnight flight from Boston in an attempt to make it to LA in time for 8AM Grammys rehearsal. Check out the evidence below.