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Wolfgang Van Halen Declined Grammy Invitation to Perform Tribute for His Late Dad — Here's Why

Jené Liebenberg
Mar 16, 2021
04:50 P.M.

Wolfgang Van Halen spoke out about why he declined the Grammy's invitation to perform, critiquing the 15-second mention he received during the "In Memorium" section.

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Wolfgang Van Halen took to Instagram to share his side of the story, explaining why he declined the invitation to perform at this year's Grammy Awards in honor of his father.

Wolfgang shared that he didn't feel he would be able to do his father's legacy justice during the Grammy Awards' "In Memorium" section but was disappointed by the short mention that Eddie Van Halen received.

Wolfgang Van Halen of Van Halen performs on stage at Sleep Train Amphitheatre on September 30, 2015 | Getty Images

Wolfgang Van Halen of Van Halen performs on stage at Sleep Train Amphitheatre on September 30, 2015 | Getty Images

ROCK DYING OUT

Wolfgang is evidently very aware of the large shoes he has to fill after his father, Eddie Van Halen's passing. Eddie's son refused to perform as a tribute at the prestigious award ceremony, saying:

"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."

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Regardless of his refusal of the invitation, Wolfgang expected more from The Recording Academy when it came to honoring his father and the contribution that he made to the rock genre, making his disappointment clear.

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MORE THAN 15 SECONDS

Eddie was included in the "In Memorium" section of the ceremony, but the late rock star's son was dissatisfied with the short 15 seconds put aside to honor the Van Halen star.

The Van Halen frontman died in October 2020 after a long battle with cancer.

Wolfgang was also unhappy that his father was not mentioned as one of the artists who were lost at the beginning of the show as he felt Eddie's legacy wasn't being appropriately acknowledged.

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NOT THE ONLY UNHAPPY ONE

Wolfgang was joined by Eddie's friends and fans who were just as disillusioned by The Recording Academy's approach to honoring the late rock icon.

The lead vocalist for the group Extreme, Gary Cherone, also spoke up about the short-lived honor given to Van Halen's frontman. Cherone took to Twitter saying:

"Maybe an Artist that reimagined how one plays an instrument....and, changed the course of rock 'n' roll deserves more than fifteen second at the Grammys?"

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NOT THE MOST POPULAR

Amidst sharing his complaint about his father's tribute, 29-year-old Wolfgang acknowledged that the rock genre is not the most sought after at the moment but that it shouldn't take away from how his father is remembered.

Wolfgang, who is also part of the group Mammoth WVH, called out The Recording Academy asking for the opportunity to speak about how the situation was handled.

29-year-old Wolfgang has been open about his struggle in dealing with the loss of his father. The Van Halen frontman died in October 2020 after a long battle with cancer.

Eddie's brief mention was not the only part of the "In Memorium" performance that caused unhappiness as the "Glee" star Naya Rivera was also not included, which sparked backlash.

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