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Don Cornelius
© Don Cornelius / AP
Don Cornelius, Mike Starr not in televised Grammy 'In Memoriam' (but not totally forgotten)

By Rick Porter

The Grammy Awards paid tribute to Etta James at the beginning of Sunday's (Feb. 12) show -- and that was apparently enough, because James was not part of the "In Memoriam" montage in the final hour of the show.

Bing: Grammys pay tribute to Whitney Houston

Ditto for "Soul Train" creator Don Cornelius and hip-hop pioneer Gil Scott-Heron. Both men were mentioned at other points in the show, but not in the video montage, and that seemed to be the M.O. throughout the show -- people who had passed in the previous 12 months and had moments elsewhere in the show weren't in the montage. (One exception was Whitney Houston, who died Saturday and was mentioned throughout the night. She was the final slide in the "In Memoriam" video.)

Also: Stars we lost in 2012 and 2011

Other names that didn't make the tribute (that we noticed, anyway) were Mike Starr of Alice in Chains, Warrant singer Jani Lane and frequent Frank Zappa collaborator Jim Sherwood.

We should note, however, that the recording academy didn't simply forget these people. The academy's website has a "We Will Remember You" page that lists a couple hundred people the music industry lost in the past year; had they all been included in the montage, it could have lasted a very long time. Instead, it seems the academy chose to spotlight a mix of performers from various genres and behind-the-scenes people.

More: 2012 Grammys

You can argue with the selection of people in the televised tribute, but because of the online list, we don't feel like anyone was completely overlooked.

Feb 13, 2012 4:25PM
There was no tribute to Don Cornelius. LL Cool J said a few words about him while getting ready to talk about someone else. If you hadn't caught him saying Don C. & Soul Train you weren't likely to catch what he was talking about. This is what he said in an offhand way.

“Take it from me here and my man Questlove, if you were standing next to THE Don Cornelius, you were definitely on the hippest trip in America. Don Cornelius was the conductor of ‘Soul Train’ and thanks to him a lot of [people] learned about the meaning of soul and also how to dance. Don, peace, love and soul,” LL said.

I'm not blaming him but the way the words were delivered was an insult to Cornelius's memory and that of Etta James!  I'm also sick of the Grammys spokespeople  saying they were left out of the montage because they were honored during the show. Whitney was honored the entire episode & her picture was there! Clarence Clemons picture was there yet Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band performed in his memory.

Feb 13, 2012 11:58AM
I did not see the tribute to Don, the show was so long, I may have dozed off
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