2019 Grammys Honor Avicii, Mac Miller and More During In Memoriam — But Leave Out XXXTentacion
Sunday night's awards show also paid tribute to country music legend Roy Clark, Lynard Skynard guitarist Ed King and rapper Jimmy Wopo
The 2019 Grammy Awards took a moment to recognize the musicians who died over the last year. The tribute honored artists such as Avicii, Mac Miller and Aretha Franklin — who also received a separate tribute — during Sunday night’s In Memoriam segment.
The Queen of Soul died of pancreatic cancer in August after years of health struggles. “She has been ill for a long time,” a close friend of the legend told PEOPLE at the time. “She did not want people to know and she didn’t make it public.”
Franklin’s family said in a statement, “In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.”
Her star-studded funeral on Aug. 16 in Detroit included 100 Cadillacs, performances by Ariana Grande, Faith Hill and Jenifer Hudson, and was attended by the Clintons, Whoopi Goldberg, Gladys Knight, Tyler Perry and Stevie Wonder.
Swedish DJ Avicii, born Tim Bergling, died by suicide in Muscat, Oman last April at age 28. The “Levels” hitmaker announced in April 2016 that he was retiring from touring after admitted that he coped with the anxiety of performing by drinking.
“When he stopped touring, he wanted to find a balance in life to be happy and be able to do what he loved most — music,” Avicii’s family told PEOPLE in a statement last year. “He really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness. He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace.”
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His ex-girlfriend Grande, who dropped out of taking the stage at the 2019 Grammys, has been open about grieving Miller’s loss. The “No Tears Left to Cry” singer, 25, has shared throwback videos from her time with Miller on social media, shouted him out in her hit single “Thank U, Next” and posted a tribute to her ex on Thanksgiving, writing “You’re v missed.”
RELATED VIDEO: Ariana Grande Mourns Ex Mac Miller After Fan Shares Video of Him: ‘He Is Supposed to Be Here’
Rapper XXXTentacion, however, was left out of the tribute. The rapper was shot dead during a robbery attempt in Florida in June. He was 20. At the time of his death, the musician, née Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, was facing 15 felony charges, including witness tampering and domestic battery by strangulation.
XXXTentacion and girlfriend Jenesis Sanchez were expecting their first child together. Sanchez, 20, welcomed their son Gekyume Onfroy on Jan. 26, three days after what would have been XXXTentacion’s 21st birthday. XXXTentacion came up with their child’s name before he died, and now Sanchez and the singer’s mother Cleopatra Bernard are raising the baby boy together.
Sunday’s In Memorium presentation also paid tribute to country music legend Roy Clark, Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Ed King, Pantera’s Vinnie Paul Abbott, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds pianist Conway Savage and rapper Jimmy Wopo.
The 61st Annual Grammy Awards broadcast live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT on CBS.