September 28, 2018
Kanye West will serve as the show's musical guest, with Adam Driver acting as the episode's host.
When Saturday Night Live's 44th season premieres this weekend, Kanye West will take the stage as the show's musical guest, but another star was originally tapped for the spot: Ariana Grande.
Ariana Grande Dropped Out of SNL Premiere for Emotional Reasons
In the final episode of a three-part, SNL-focused chapter of James Andrew Miller's Origins podcast, the sketch comedy's producer Lorne Michaels confirmed the news. "We had Ariana drop out for emotional reasons two days ago… and then Kanye stepped up so he will be there," Michaels said.
In addition to Michaels, the podcast episode, titled "Origins Chapter 4: Saturday Night Live: Behind the Scenes of Season 44," also features interviews with producer/writer Steve Higgins, and castmembers Colin Jost, Michael Che, Chris Redd, Aidy Bryant, Heidi Gardner, Melissa Villasenor, as well as show producer Lindsay Shookus.
Although she's made no mention of SNL, on Thursday, Grande took to Twitter to share that she was having a rough time. "Can i pls have one okay day. just one. pls.," she wrote. She later added that she was "so tired."
Grande's tweets come several weeks after her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller was found dead of an apparent overdose on Sept. 7. She later paid tribute to him on social media, writing in part, "You were my dearest friend. I’m so sorry I couldn’t fix or take your pain away. I really wanted to. The kindest, sweetest soul with demons he never deserved. I hope you’re okay now. Rest."
Grande is currently engaged to SNL star Pete Davidson.
In addition to West, Star Wars star Adam Driver will headline the SNL opener, serving as the show's host. The NBC show will also feature Crazy Rich Asians' Awkwafina and SNL alum Seth Meyers as hosts in subsequent episodes.
The premiere airs on NBC on Saturday at 11:30 p.m. ET.
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