GRAMMYs 2021: Why wasn't there an Eddie Van Halen tribute performance?

16 March 2021, 11:41 | Updated: 16 March 2021, 11:49

Van Halen in concert in 2015
Why Eddie Van Halen wasn't honoured with a performance at the 2021 GRAMMYs. Picture: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images

By Jenny Mensah

Wolfgang Van Halen, the son of the late rock legend, has explained why he declined a chance to perform, but revealed he expected more from the ceremony.

The 2021 GRAMMY Awards took place on Sunday 14 March, with Beyoncé and Taylor Swift making history as The Strokes picked up their first ever gong.

The ceremony also took the time to pay tribute to some of the icons we lost over the past year, with special performances honouring the likes of Little Richard, Kenny Rogers and Gerry Marsden.

However, many wondered why there was no performance for Eddie Van Halen, who tragically passed away on 6 October 2020, aged 65.

Find out why there was no performance for the Jump legend and see his son Wolfgang's full statement below.

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Why wasn't there a tribute performance for Eddie Van Halen at the GRAMMYs 2021?

Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang has revealed he was asked to perform Van Halen's Eruption at the awards ceremony, but he declined because he believed no one could do his father justice. However, he added that he believed something more substantial would have been organised for his father. Instead Eddie Van Halen's image was included during the 'In Memoriam' section.

Eddie Van Halen and his son Wolf at Music Midtown 2015 - Day 2
Eddie Van Halen's son Wolf was "hurt" by the lack of mention of his dad at the 2021 GRAMMYs. Picture: Chris McKay/Getty Images for Live Nation

What did Eddie Van Halen's son Wolf say about the GRAMMYs 2021 tribute?

Taking to Twitter, Wolf wrote in a statement: "The GRAMMYS asked me to play Eruption for the 'In Memoriam' section and I declined. I don't think anyone could have lived up to what my father did for music but himself."

He continued: "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 realise that they would only show Pop for 15 seconds in the middle of 4 full performances for others we had lost."

The musician added: "What hurt the most was that he wasn't even mentioned when they talked about artists we lost in the beginning of the show. I know rock isn't the most popular genre right now, (and the academy does seem a bit out of touch) but 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."

READ MORE: Eddie Van Halen's son marks late icon's birthday with throwback video

Earlier this year, Wolf paid tribute to his father on what would have been his 66th birthday.

Taking to Twitter on Tuesday 26 January, he shared a clip alongside the heartbreaking caption: "Happy 66th Birthday, Pop.

"I wish I could give you the biggest hug and celebrate it with you. I love and miss you so much it hurts. I don’t even know how to put it into words.

"I’ve been doing my best to hold it together, but goddammit it’s really tough being here without you."