WATCH: James Corden Was Basically Asked to Fill in for Rihanna at the Grammys
Almost, not quite “James Joint”.
James Corden revealed that he was supposed to play a part in Rihanna’s performance at the 2016 Grammy Awards, which was cancelled at the last minute due to her strained vocal chords. The “Carpool Karaoke” aficionado explained that he received a phone call invite to introduce the ANTI singer’s entrance onto the stage.
“I get this phone call saying Rihanna has this big thing planned for her song ‘Kiss It Better’ and she’s doing like a whole ’80s talk show thing and it’s going to be really cool,” says Corden on The Late Late Show. “What she wants you to do is be like an ’80s talk show host and I’d have funny glasses and I’d introduce Rihanna. She’d come out and do a song and then at the end, she’d come and sit with me, like it was it’s own talk show which they called As It Lays.”
Corden went to rehearsal where Rih was “under the weather”, but believed that it was all going to be okay. He even walked the red carpet and gave interviews under the impression that he was totally going to be a part of the gig until he reached the end of the road.
“I get to the end of the red carpet and they say, ‘Rihanna’s had to pull out the show. She’s pulled out. She’s been told by a doctor she’s not allowed to sing. It could really damage her voice,'” Corden recalls. “So I immediately go, ‘I hear what you’re saying. Yes. I’ll fill the spot.'”
Rihanna apologized to her Navy on Twitter late Monday evening.
#NAVY so sorry I couldn’t be there ….. Thanks Grammys and CBS for your support tonight.
— Rihanna (@rihanna) February 16, 2016
The singer’s rep confirmed that her absence from the show was due to doctor’s orders. “Based on Rihanna’s examination after GRAMMY rehearsals today, Rihanna’s doctor put her on vocal rest for 48 hours because she was at risk of hemorrhaging her vocal chords,” read a statement. “The antibiotics she has been on for three days did not kill the infection adequately, therefore she cannot perform safely.”
Watch Corden’s explanation below, and launch the gallery at the top of the page to view photos from the 2016 Grammy Awards.