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Questlove Invited Will Smith to Be Part of 2023 Grammy Awards Hip-Hop 50th Anniversary Segment

todayFebruary 6, 2023

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Questlove had a tall order in pulling together the mind-bending 14-minute tribute to hip-hop history at Sunday night’s (Feb. 5) 2023 Grammy Awards. Tasked with telling the story of the genre that has given him a career and produced some of the most iconic music and performers of the past half-century, the Roots drummer looked far-and-wide — from the West coast to the East coast, over to Philly and down to Atlanta and beyond — to ensure that the breadth of the genre was well-represented.


There’s one voice, though, that did not make it to the stage to perform alongside Big Boi, Ice-T, Missy Elliott, Lil Baby, Method Man, Future, De La Soul, Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC and the other legends. Quest told Variety that he invited Will Smith to make a special surprise appearance at the event that featured Smith’s longtime musical partner DJ Jazzy Jeff — who rocked the bells with LL Cool J — but that the rapper-turned-actor had to back out due to the filming scheduled for his fourquel, Bad Boys 4.

“I’ll give the spoiler alert away. Will Smith was a part of the festivities tonight, but they started shooting Bad Boys 4 already this week,” Quest said on the red carpet, where he revealed that the “all-inclusive” vibe he was looking for in the segment originally came in at 27 minutes before producers asked him to cut in way down. “There’s a lot of preliminary shots that he had to do, so we had to lose Will. That was gonna be a surprise moment.”

Quest said the invite was “a shot in the dark,” and that he understood the no-show because, “he’s always shooting movies. We had a lot of people and some of them have other jobs.” For example, he noted that the Roots had to get former David Letterman bandleader Paul Shaffer to fill-in for them on The Tonight Show last week so that they could prepare for Sunday night’s rap tribute.

While Smith was ultimately a scratch, if he had flown in it would have been the Oscar-winner’s first awards show appearance since last year’s shocking incident at the 2022 Oscars where he slapped comedian Chris Rock — shortly before Questlove accepted an Academy Award for best documentary for his film Summer of Soul. Last week Smith announced that he and Martin Lawrence will be re-teaming for Bad Boys 4.

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chrissy-teigen-skipped-the-2023-grammy-awards-to-hang-with-baby esti

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Chrissy Teigen Skipped the 2023 Grammy Awards to Hang With Baby Esti

John Legend helped shut down the 2023 Grammy Awards on Sunday night (Feb. 5) as part of DJ Khaled’s all-star “God Did” performance. But when the camera swung to the audience for reaction shots during the epic set, Legend’s wife model Chrissy Teigen was nowhere to be found. The always supportive spouse explained why she skipped the broadcast via a sweet picture with the couple’s newborn daughter, Esti. Related Chrissy […]

todayFebruary 6, 2023

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