Long-term Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich will step down following the 2020 awards, with Late Late Show With James Corden executive producer Ben Winston set to fill the role.
The 2020 Grammys will mark Ehrlich’s 40th anniversary at the helm of the biggest awards show in music, and in a statement the departing producer said he was proud of his work.
“To have been a part of the growth of the Grammy Awards into the preeminent music awards show of our time has been one of the highlights of my professional life, and I’m grateful to the Recording Academy and to our partners at CBS for their support and for trusting my vision over the past four decades,” said Ehrlich.
He added: “I have also been the happy recipient of having an incredible group of people who have worked on the show over the years, and of course the most amazing cadre of musical artists who bring their own creativity and brilliance to the Grammy stage year after year.”
In a 2017 interview Ehrlich criticised Ocean’s 2013 Grammys performance by describing it as “not great TV.” This resulted in Ocean responding with a scathing Tumblr post criticising the Grammys for not properly recognising black artists.
Ariana Grande also had a stand-off with Ehrlich earlier this year after the producer claimed her last-minute decision to back out of a performance at the 2019 Grammys was because she “felt it was too late to pull something together”.
i’ve kept my mouth shut but now you’re lying about me. i can pull together a performance over night and you know that, Ken. it was when my creativity & self expression was stifled by you, that i decided not to attend. i hope the show is exactly what you want it to be and more. ?
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) February 7, 2019
In response, the pop star angrily tweeted: “I’ve kept my mouth shut but now you’re lying about me. I can pull together a performance over night and you know that, Ken. It was when my creativity & self-expression was stifled by you, that I decided not to attend.” Ehrlich later said Grande’s comments came as “a surprise”.
In a statement, Ben Winston said he felt “immense gratitude” to be stepping into the role.
“It’s an absolute honour to be executive producer of the Grammys for 2021,” he said. “I feel excitement and nerves in equal measure on taking on this role, but mostly I feel immense gratitude to the Recording Academy for this wonderful opportunity. I also want to salute Ken, who has done an absolutely remarkable job over the last 40 years.”