By Robyn Merrett
September 28, 2018 at 09:01 PM EDT
  • TV Show
  • NBC

Kanye West to the rescue.

For Saturday Night Live‘s season premiere this weekend, the 41-year-old “All Mine” rapper will serve as the show’s musical guest.

While the Chicago native is no rookie when it comes to appearing on the show, his appearance on the premiere wasn’t in the original plans.

During this week’s Origins With James Andrew Miller podcast, SNL‘s producer Lorne Michaels explained Ariana Grande was their first choice.

“We had Ariana drop out for emotional reasons two days ago,” Michaels said during the interview, which was previously recorded. “And then Kanye stepped up, so he’ll be there,” Michaels added.

Dominique Charriau/WireImage; Kevin Mazur/WireImage

In addition to dropping out of SNL, Grande, 25, opted to skip the 2018 Emmy Awards on Sept. 17 as she continues to heal after a number of tragic events.

“Given the events of the past couple of years, Ariana is going to take some much needed time to heal and mend,” Grande’s team said in a statement. “She will be staying close to home and using this period to spend time with her loved ones and work on new music without deadline. She thanks her fans for their understanding.”

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Grande’s fiancé Pete Davidson, who is currently a cast member on SNL, also decided to not attend despite his show winning for variety sketch series.

The awards show came 10 days after Grande’s ex-boyfriend, Mac Miller, died of an apparent overdose at 26 years old. She previously opened up about coping with anxiety and PTSD after a suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured more than 500 in a terrorist attack at the Manchester show of her Dangerous Woman Tour in May of 2017.

This article originally appeared on

Episode Recaps

Saturday Night Live

The original late-night comedy sketch show from the one and only Lorne Michaels.

  • TV Show
  • 45
  • TV-14
  • Saturdays at 11:30 PM
  • Lorne Michaels
  • NBC
stream service