Fantasia Barrino boycotted Grammys over Aretha Franklin tribute
Fantasia Barrino, an "American Idol" winner, says she did not attend the 2011 Grammy Awards, during which she won a prize for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, because she did not get to take part in a tribute performance honoring Aretha Franklin.
The show's first 15 minutes were devoted to Franklin, who has won 18 Grammys during her career and recently underwent surgery for a mysterious ailment. Jennifer Hudson, an "American Idol" finalist, Christina Aguilera, Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine and Martina McBride performed a medley of some of the Queen of Soul's greatest hits. Hudson and Aguilera are both Grammy Award winners and the rest have been nominated for prizes before.
Barrino, who is also a past nominee, told the BET show "106 & Park" earlier this week that she opted to watch the ceremony from home. Barrino performed several of Franklin's hit songs, including "Think," during her time on "American Idol."
"They were honoring someone who is my idol, Aretha Franklin, and there is no way I could have sat there and not got the happy feet and wanting to jump on the mic because she is my favorite so I felt like, you know, at the end of the day I should have been on that stage so, I kind of did my own little thing," Billboard.com quoted Barrino as saying.
"I watched Cee Lo's performance, I love Cee Lo, love Gaga, watched Gaga, and I love Rihanna's performance, but I kind of cooked and did my own think last night and was in my own world and was hoping that I won," Barrino added. "I have this feeling, like every year I go, I feel like they always look over some of the good singers that are still around and I'm not trying to be funny but that's just the way I felt."
Spokespeople for the Recording Academy, which votes on and organizes the Grammy Awards, has no immediate comment.
Meanwhile, Barrino, is gearing up to star in her first major film. She recently nabbed the lead role in a biopic about the life of gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, who was also a civil rights activist and an early supporter of Martin Luther King Jr.
Barrino won "American Idol" in 2004 and starred starred in a a 2006 Lifetime television biopic called "Life Is Not a Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story," about her life. The singer also starred on Broadway in the musical version of "The Color Purple" as Celie.
Last year, she revealed she attempted suicide in August by trying to overdose on sleep medication and aspirin. She said her "American Idol" experience and a relationship with a married man were among the factors that drove her to try and take her own life.