Grammy Producer Defends Natalie Cole’s ‘In Memoriam’ Tribute

Yesterday, it was reported that Natalie Cole’s family didn’t appreciate the tribute the Grammy Awards gave their beloved sister and mother at the ceremony on Monday night (Feb. 15). Cole’s sisters Timolin and Casey and Cole’s son Robert Adam Yancy called the tribute “disrespectful” and though she deserved a full tribute performance rather than a clip of Cole singing “Unforgettable” at the end of the “In Memoriam” montage.

Natalie’s sisters Timolin and Casey told Page Six and MailOnline, “We were hoping that there will be some sort of actual tribute to her fitting of her artistry and stature. She had 21 Grammy nominations and nine wins…She was such a force in the music industry and she transcended genres…I think she should be recognized for the impact she has had…. ‘Why wouldn’t you have a medley of two or three songs? There are many hits that could be sung and great artists who could perform them.”

But Grammy Awards producer Ken Ehrlich (above) has responded to the Cole family’s outrage in an interview with Billboard, saying, “I think it was appropriate” adding that he thought the tribute was “touching and emotional.”

Ehrlich tells Billboard he got the family’s blessing for the tribute through email correspondence. “For the record, there was an email exchange, and I told Timolin what we were doing, and she seemed to be very happy with it,” he explained. “And what I told her is that we had talked about having an artist do something for Natalie; at one point I was playing around with ‘Miss You Like Crazy,’ because I love that song. But when I looked again at the Grammy show we did where she won for ‘Unforgettable,’ and I saw the last 45 seconds of that number, where her father (Nat King Cole, on the big screen) throws her a kiss, she throws him a kiss, and then she turns to the audience and throws everybody a kiss — that just was so touching and so emotional to me that that felt like it had to be the end of the whole ‘In Memoriam’ segment. I hadn’t looked at that clip in several years, but when I saw it again, I knew it was right.”

Now that you’ve heard Ehrlich’s side, what do you think, Roomies?