The late great Vicente Fernandez, an iconic Mexican performer who died in December, was honored posthumously at the 2022 Grammys with an award presented by American country singer Jimmie Allen. But in an uncomfortable onstage gaffe, Allen didn't realize that Fernandez had died.
The 2022 Grammys, held Sunday in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand, marked a return to a fully in-person ceremony since the pandemic began, featuring a stunning guitar-shredding performance by H.E.R. with Travis Barker and Lenny Kravitz, a toe-tapping performance by BTS, and of course, some Will Smith slap jokes from Trevor Noah.
But an awkward moment slipped nearly under the radar.
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Country singer Jimmie Allen was presenting the award for the category of "Best Regional Mexican Music Album."
Fernandez, who died at age 81 in December, left a legacy that stretched far beyond Jalisco, Mexico, and into the roots of Southern California. "El Rey de la Música Ranchera" sold more than 65 million albums in a decades-long career that brought him international fame. His most memorable songs include "Por Tu Maldito Amor," "Aca Entre Nos" and "Estos Celos."
PHOTOS: Vicente Fernández Through the Years
Unfortunately, Allen was not familiar with his body of work.
"And the Grammy goes to... Vicente Fernandez."
After announcing that Fernandez had won, cheers rang out from the crowd.
Then Allen said, "They're not here either. So congratulations. This is a great honor to everyone that's won tonight. Even though you can't be here, it's still special. I will accept this on their behalf."
Fans of Fernandez took to Twitter, and they were not pleased.
"Jimmie Allen accepted a Grammy in behalf of Vicente Fernandez because "Vicente couldn't be there". Yeah, he couldn't. He died last year," a Twitter user said, with the face palm emoji.
"HE DOESN'T KNOW VICENTE FERNANDEZ IS NOT ALIVE I- " another user said, with a shocked Oprah gif.
"You guys need to get a Latino to present the Latin categories. The presenter tried, but he couldn't pronounce the names and didn't even knew Vicente Fernandez is dead," another Twitter user said.
That's not to say that some country stars haven't recognized the late legend.
When Fernandez died, the "King of Country" George Strait paid tribute to the "King of Rancheras," saying Fernandez was "one of his heroes."