Ariana Grande Canceled Her Scheduled 'SNL' Appearance for "Emotional Reasons"

Ariana Grande was originally scheduled to perform on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live's 44th season, according to creator Lorne Michaels. The singer pulled out of the appearance, reportedly due to "emotional reasons."

March For Our Lives In Washington, DC
(Image credit: Paul Morigi)

Tonight, Saturday Night Live will return to kick off its 44th season. Ariana Grande, pop superstar and fiancée of SNL castmember Pete Davidson, was originally scheduled to appear as the musical guest for the premiere, but has since been replaced by Kanye West.


So, what gives? Grande dropped out of the appearance, SNL creator and producer Lorne Michaels explained during on the “Origins With James Andrew Miller”Opens a New Window. podcast. During the interview, which was released on Thursday, just a few days ahead of the premiere, Michaels broke down what happened behind-the-scenes, and it really makes total sense for everyone involved.

Saturday Night Live - Season 41

Grande on SNL in 2016.

(Image credit: NBC)

"We had Ariana drop out for emotional reasons two days ago," he said, according to Us Weekly. "That’s our premiere, and then Kanye [West] stepped up, and he’ll be there. So, the reach of the show and the number of people who will step forward is now somehow now, I think, probably at its peak."

According to Us Weekly, however, a source close to the situation claims that Grande was only in talks to perform at some point during the upcoming SNL season and she "was never booked to perform during this weekend’s premiere" specifically.

The news that Grande won't be performing during the SNL premiere comes on the heals of a tough month for the singer and a series of tweets that suggest she is having a difficult time as she grieves for her ex-boyfriend and longtime friendMac Miller, who died of an apparent overdose earlier this month.

Kayleigh Roberts
Weekend Editor

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.