Last Sunday, when Fantasia finally won her first Grammy, for Best Female Vocal Performance for "Bittersweet"--after no less than 11 nominations--I was thrilled. I was less thrilled, however, when her category was not presented on the air. Come on, Fantasia's tearful acceptance speech would have been pure TV gold, one of redemption and rising-from-ashes triumph. And it would have been a completion of her dramatic story arc after a turbulent year of personal missteps (extramarital affair, drug overdose, family squabbles) and a Lifetime Movie's worth of tragic childhood setbacks. What a shame that her category wasn't televised.
Well, now it turns out that Fantasia wasn't even there to give her speech, televised or not. Fantasia actually boycotted the Grammys because she felt snubbed that she wasn't invited to participate in the ceremony's Aretha Franklin-tribute opening number. Apparently she considered this a sign of a lack of R-E-S-P-E-C-T on the Grammys' part.
Yesterday, Fantasia told BET's "106 & Park": "I'm going to be very honest with you. You know I wasn't at the Grammys last night...Last night 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. 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 last night."
I agree that Fantasia would have killed it if she'd been part of that Aretha tribute, and would've more than held her own alongside Christina Aguilera, Martina McBride, Florence Welch, Yolanda Adams, and her former "American Idol" Season 3 contestant, Jennifer Hudson. And I certainly understand why Fantasia (and her fans) were disappointed that she wasn't invited, especially since 'Tasia was so great on "Put You Up On Game," her track from Aretha's 2007 duets album:
But you know, several other divas didn't participate in that number, including Beyonce, Keri Hilson, Monica, Amber Riley, Toni Braxton, Cyndi Lauper, Jordin Sparks, and Natasha Bedingfield...all of whom did attend the Grammys on Sunday without complaint.
I am delighted that Fantasia finally won a much-deserved Grammy, and yes, maybe she should have been part of the Aretha tribute. But I still wish that the "Bittersweet" singer hadn't let a case of bitter grapes keep her from fully enjoying her Grammy moment.