Grammys 2019: Twitter is shocked that 21 Savage was hardly mentioned at all
From surprise appearances to bizarre performances, here are 5 can't-miss moments from the Grammy Awards. USA TODAY
The biggest names in music gathered in Los Angeles Sunday for the Grammy Awards, but one musician was noticeably missing.
Rapper 21 Savage, who was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement last week, was not in attendance. Authorities say the 26-year-old was born in the United Kingdom as Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph and faces deportation after overstaying his U.S. visa as a youth.
21 Savage is being held without bail, forcing him to cancel his plans to attend and perform at the awards show, despite earning two Grammy nominations for his feature on Post Malone's single "Rockstar."
Malone went on to perform his hit song without 21 Savage and many fans viewed it as the perfect opportunity for Malone to offer support to his collaborator. Instead, Malone appeared to avoid 21 Savage's detainment and skipped over his verse entirely while sharing the stage with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
His silence onstage sparked outrage on Twitter. "No acknowledgement of 21 Savage. Post Malone is the worst type of culture vulture," one user tweeted, while another added: "I cannot believe Post Malone just performed rockstar with no 'free 21 savage' shoutout."
Malone did appear to support 21 Savage, wearing a black T-shirt with the rapper's name on it underneath his jacket during the performance.
But the most significant shout-out of the night came from Ludwig Goransson more than three and a half hours into the broadcast. Goransson, the producer of Childish Gambino's "This Is America," accepted the award for record of the year.
During his acceptance speech, the composer reflected on immigrating to the U.S. from Sweden and thanked 21 Savage, who contributed background vocals to the song.
"No matter where you're born or what country you are from, you connect with 'This Is America.' It speaks to people, it connects right to your soul; calls out injustice, celebrates life and reunites us at the same time," he said. "We want to thank all the rappers on the song. 21 Savage – he should be here tonight."
The audience and Twitter both applauded his speech. "This man. This man Ludwig gave the most significant 21 Savage shoutout. When Drake was on stage, when Post Malone sang the song that 21 Savage made a hit. This dude. Well, thanks Ludwig you’re a real one," @Kayleeeesi said.
User @CraigSJ added: "Ludwig Goransson gives the night's only real 21 Savage shoutout 3 and a half hours into the show."
@JinCaramanica quipped that he "did not have ludwig göransson in the 'first to mention 21 savage' pool."
21 Savage did not win a Grammy Award for record of the year or best rap/sung collaboration.
Backstage, best-new artist winner Dua Lipa told USA TODAY: "It's quite upsetting given he actually hasn't done anything and how much he's done for American culture. Even for being a Brit."
Earlier in the night, Leon Bridges told USA TODAY on the red carpet that the situation is "disheartening, honestly. The foundation that he's laid in his city and in music has been huge. Honestly, he's one of my favorite rappers. I'm a man of faith so I'm praying he gets back in the States."