Live from New York, it’s… not Ariana Grande. Saturday Night Live boss Lorne Michaels has revealed that the actress-singer — and fiancée of SNL vet Pete Davidson — was originally slated to serve as musical guest for this weekend’s Season 44 premiere. However, Grande backed out, which led Michaels to tap previously announced musical guest Kanye West.
In an SNL-themed episode of James Andrew Miller’s Origins podcast (recorded earlier this month), Michaels said, “We had Ariana drop out for emotional reasons two days ago… and then Kanye stepped up. He’ll be there.”
Michaels did not elaborate further, but Grande has been grieving the sudden death of ex-boyfriend Mac Miller on Sept. 7. “I adored you from the day I met you when I was 19 and I always will,” she shared in Instagram post dated Sept. 14. “I can’t believe you aren’t here anymore. I really can’t wrap my head around it… I’m so mad, i’m so sad I don’t know what to do. You were my dearest friend. For so long. Above anything else.”
Star Wars baddie Adam Driver is set to headline this Saturday’s opener, marking his second hosting stint (and his first since Season 41). West, meanwhile, makes his seventh appearance as musical guest.