Eddie Van Halen's Son Just Slammed the Grammys Tribute to His Father
Wolfgang Van Halen was not happy with how the Grammys handled his father's tribute.
On March 14, the 63rd annual Grammy Awards took place on the roof of the Los Angeles Convention Center, and, amid a season full of strange award shows, it was like no other Grammys that came before it. Only select stars were invited to attend the ceremony in person, with many of them matching their masks to their outfits and maintaining distance from colleagues they'd usually embrace. When nominations were announced in November, the Grammys caught a lot of criticism from artists who were surprisingly shut out. But now, another artist is slamming the Recording Academy, which gives out the awards, for a different reason. Wolfgang Van Halen, the son of rock legend Eddie Van Halen, just called out the Grammys for its tribute to his father. To see what he says "hurt the most," read on, and for more from the Grammys, check out What Billy Ray Cyrus Thought of His Daughter's Controversial Grammys Look.
Wolfgang felt the Grammys didn't do enough to honor his father.
Every year the Grammys does an "In Memoriam" to pay tribute to the artists the music industry lost that year. Wolfgang felt that Eddie—the groundbreaking frontman of Van Halen who died on Oct. 6, 2020—wasn't properly memorialized during the ceremony. "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 wrote on Instagram the day after the ceremony.
"What hurt the most was that he wasn't even mentioned when they talked about artists we lost in the beginning of the show," he wrote. "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." Wolfgang wasn't the only person bothered by the Grammys tribute—many took to social media to slam the Recording Academy.
He also said he turned down an opportunity to perform at the ceremony.
Wolfgang noted that he had turned down the opportunity to play at the Grammys in tribute to his father. "The Grammys asked me to play 'Eruption' for the 'In Memoriam' section, and I declined," said Wolfgang.
It may seem strange to turn down performing during music's biggest night, but he said he did so for good reason. "I don't think anyone could have lived up to what my father did for music but himself," explained Wolfgang. And for more up-to-date celebrity news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Wolfgang said he doesn't want to start any drama with the Grammys.
Wolfgang insisted that in sharing his reaction to the tribute, he wasn't looking to stir up drama. "I'm not looking to start some kind of hate parade here. I just wanted to explain my side," said Wolfgang. He also noted that his dad would likely not be bothered by the snub himself. "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." And for artists' whose legacies are far from Van Halen's, check out The Most Hated Rock Band of All Time, According to Data.
However, he does want to have a discussion with the Recording Academy.
Although Wolfgang was clear that he didn't want anyone to start slinging hate at the Grammys, he does want to have a frank conversation with the Recording Academy. He noted that he understood that "rock isn't the most popular genre right now, and the academy does seem a bit out of touch." But, he added, "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." To see which albums the Recording Academy would never award, check out This Is the Most Hated Album of the Century, According to Data.