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Questlove Says Will Smith Dropped Out of 2023 Grammys Performance

Questlove gives some insight behind the slated hip-hop tribute happening during the 65th Grammy Awards.

It’s no secret that this year’s Grammy Awards are celebrating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. Questlove, who is producing the segment took to the red carpet to share that Will Smith was originally slated to be a part of the tribute, but had to back out due to production on Bad Boys 4

“I’ll give the spoiler alert away. Will Smith was a part of the festivities tonight, but they started shooting ‘Bad Boys 4’ this week,” Questlove said reports Variety. “There were a lot of preliminary shots that he had to do, so we had to lose Will.”

Questlove, a four-time Grammy Award winner added that he knew getting Smith for the tribute was “a shot in the dark,” because the actor is “always shooting movies.” He also added that the segment “had a lot of people, and some of them have other jobs.” He made it a point to note that Ice-T, Queen Latifah, and L.L. Cool J are all a part of the tribute but had to “leave their respective shows” to be a part of the celebration. 

Previous reports stated the tribute would be 23 minutes long, Variety reports it has been sliced down to 14 minutes. “It’s going to be amazing,” Questlove shared.

Most recently, the project that Will Smith has been pushing is Emancipation. We'd be remiss to mention his Academy Award win for King Richard. The evening he won has become synonymous with Smith slapping Chris Rock, the moment rang off loudly, especially on social media. Months after the incident, he told Trevor Noah that "he just lost it" over Rock's joke about Smith's wife's hair.

That same evening Questlove walked away with an Academy Award for best documentary for Summer of Soul.