Grammys Fail to Recognize the Death of Slayer Guitarist and Other Key Metal Musicians

Jon Wiederhorn
Yahoo Music
Jeff Hanneman

Surely it wasn't done out of any desire to disrespect the dead, but Grammy organizers failed to recognize several key members of the metal community during their "In Memoriam" segment. Most noticeably, Slayer co-founder and guitarist Jeff Hanneman was left out of the piece.

Hanneman, who wrote most of the band's best-loved songs including "Angel of Death," "Raining Blood," "South of Heaven" and "Dead Skin Mask," died May 2 from liver failure at age 49.

The omission is even more glaring considering Slayer won Grammy awards for "Eyes of the Insane" in 2007 and "Final Six" in 2008 (both by Hanneman).

Metal fans and musicians were understandably upset, taking to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction. Disturbed/Device lead singer David Draiman made his displeasure known in all-caps:

Hanneman wasn't the only established metal musician who died in 2013 but wasn't given a nod by the Grammys. Ex-Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr also wasn't referenced. Burr played with the band from 1979 to 1982 and drummed on its first three albums, including 1982's breakthrough Number of the Beast, which is widely considered to be one of the band's best records. Burr passed away in his sleep on March 12 from complications due to multiple sclerosis. Ex-WWE champion Chris Jericho, who also fronts the metal band Fozzy, noted that he couldn't believe that these omissions happened.

In addition to Hanneman and Burr, the Grammys' "In Memoriam" failed to honor syndicated morning radio DJ Kidd Kraddick, who died July 27 from arteriosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease at age 53.

And, finally, while they gave props to Glee star Cory Monteith, who died July 13 from a mixture of alcohol and heroin at the age of 31, the Grammys spelled his last name "Montieth."

But back to metal — and its shabby Grammy treatment — for a moment. It's worth noting that that the Grammys gave Black Sabbath their award in the afternoon before the telecast, and since Sabbath was on the red carpet at the time, Cyndi Lauper accepted the award for them.

Also, the Grammys inexplicably gave the Best Rock Album award to Led Zeppelin for Celebration Day, a live album from a concert recorded seven years ago. The other nominees were The Black Sabbath, Queens of the Stone Age, David Bowie, Neil Young & Crazy Horse and Kings of Leon.

Finally, the Grammys paid the ultimate disrespect to metal by cutting short a show-ending all-star jam that included Trent Reznor, Queens of the Stone Age, and Dave Grohl.

The ire from metalheads was, perhaps, best summed up in a Facebook post by comedian and metal fan Brian Posehn: "Imagine Dragons? I'm gonna imagine a dragon raping the bloated corpse of whoever made the decision that three minutes dedicated to heavy metal and hard rock would be three minutes too many."