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21 Savage’s Manager Tried to Make a “Rockstar” Tribute Happen at the Grammys

DECATUR, GA - AUGUST 05: Recording Artist 21 Savage attend his 21 Savage And His Leading By Example Foundation Host 3rd Annual Issa Back 2 School Drive on August 5, 2018 in Decatur, Georgia. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images for Leading By Example Foundation)

21 Savage‘s manager Kei Henderson took to Twitter to respond to the lack of solidarity expressed for her client, who is currently being held without bond by ICE with the threat of deportation, at last night’s Grammy Awards. Henderson claimed that she had attempted to “solidify some recognition” for 21 during Post Malone’s performance of their joint hit “rockstar,” which was nominated for Record of the Year. Though Post was photographed wearing a “Free 21 Savage” T-shirt backstage at the ceremony, the shirt was covered by a jacket during his performance (except for an “A” if you squinted hard enough). Savage’s verse was simply cut, and no other mention of the rapper was made during Post’s medley.

“Someone from Epic sent me the photo of Post wearing the Savage tee before he performed,” Henderson wrote. “I appreciate the notion. Lord knows me, Meezy and our team attempted to solidify recognition for Savage during the performance of ‘Rockstar,’ it just didn’t work out that way.” She continued: “We reached out to several artists to perform Savage’s verse and/or stand in solidarity on stage on his behalf.”

The only mention of the rapper during the broadcast was by Ludwig Göransson, producer of Childish Gambino’s “This is America,” who mentioned 21 and discussed his own immigration to the U.S. in his acceptance speech for Record of the Year. “21 Savage – he should be here tonight,” the producer said. The rapper contributed backing vocals to the song. Backstage, Dua Lipa, who won the award for Best New Artist last night, commented on Savage’s predicament in a press Q&A, saying: “It’s quite upsetting given that he hasn’t actually done anything and he’s also given so much to American culture even being a Brit.”

21 Savage was arrested by ICE earlier this month for being a British national “unlawfully present” in the United States. Last week, 21’s representatives confirmed that he was born in the United Kingdom but contested ICE’s account of his immigration status. Read Henderson’s tweets below.