Sting and Shaggy say they would have given Lorde their spot at the Grammys
Lorde performs onstage at the 2018 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Fleetwood Mac at the Radio City Music Hall on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Victoria Ahearn, The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, February 13, 2018 3:53PM EST
TORONTO -- If Sting and Shaggy had their way, singer Lorde would have been given their performing slot at the recent Grammy Awards.
The English rock legend and the Jamaican dancehall reggae star performed together at last month's show to promote their upcoming album, "44/876." They also appeared in a comedic bit with host James Corden, and Sting presented the song of the year award.
Meanwhile, Lorde was not asked to perform solo that night, even though she was the only female nominee for album of the year.
"That really surprised me, that an artist who was up for (album) of the year didn't get a slot and I can't quite understand why that would have happened, but of course we didn't know that," Sting said Tuesday in a phone interview.
"If she'd told us that, we would have said, 'Please take our spot, we don't need it,"' added the 16-time Grammy Award winner.
Shaggy said he was sitting with Lorde at Clive Davis's pre-Grammys party but "had no idea" she hadn't been asked to perform solo.
"I knew she was up for (album) of the year. I just thought (letting her perform solo) would have been the natural thing to do, but we didn't know," said the singer behind such hits as "Oh Carolina" and "It Wasn't Me."
"They just invited us to sing and we came and did our thing and took the opportunity to do our new song."
This year's Grammys drew criticism for a lack of female representation.
Sting said he and Shaggy "didn't have much to do with" the amount of screen time they got.
"They just threw us on there," said the former Police frontman. "We were happy with the real estate. It was fun."
"44/876" is due out April 20 via Interscope/A&M Records/Universal Music Canada. Sting and Shaggy said they've love to go on tour together, they just need to figure out logistics.
The numbers in the album title represent the country codes of the U.K. and Jamaica. Jamaica is the setting for the video for the first single, "Don't Make Me Wait."
The video is intended to "showcase the culture, the warmth of the people, the energy, the magic of the country," said Shaggy.
That magic is still there, despite recent reports of a state of emergency declared in certain areas in Jamaica amid a rise in violent crime, he added.
"The problem I think we have is that we broadcast every little thing that happens," Shaggy said.
"There are parts of Canada that you probably don't want to go at certain times of the night, and it's in every city.... (Outside) of Jamaica the press basically advertise it on their front page and it makes it a little bit difficult.
"It caused a state of emergency down there, but when I call home it was like everybody was going about business in the same way. It was a small situation that happened that was reported really big and it's sad."
Sting said he's been to Jamaica "a lot" and found it "very agreeable and very comfortable" when he was recently down there shooting the video.
"People should not be put off from going to Jamaica," Sting said. "It's a beautiful, magical island, as always."