While the annual Grammy Awards are indeed all about “wtf” fashion, iconic moments, giving out awards or something, and at one time, an egg, it’s those performances that certainly make this night extra special, especially when they tribute those greats we lost during the course of the year.
Tonight will be no exception as Adele and Bruno Mars are taking their respective turns honoring George Michael and Prince, in which they hope to join a lost of the greatest Grammy tribute performances of all time.
So, while we patiently wait for the “Hello” diva to open up our lives on this Grammy Sunday night (we get her twice tonight, so nice) here’s a few standouts that include…oh, just watch because respect and attention must be paid to every single performance on this list.
And then get ready for tonight’s spectacle, kids.
Jennifer Hudson/”I Will Always Love You” (2012) Sigh…..this tribute alone, though. There’s simply no words to describe Ms. Hudson’s moving performance of “I Will Always Love You” that took place just one night after we lost our beloved Ms. Whitney. Not only is it one of the most haunting tributes in Grammy history, but even five years later to this very weekend, it’s still hard to fathom that the one-and-only “Queen of the Night” is no longer with us. So, grab a Kleenex, clutch those pearls and get ready to be moved once more by this incredible Grammy memory…because you certainly will.
Lady Gaga/David Bowie Tribute (2016) While some loved it, others loathed it, and some critics called it a “feverish drag medley,” you have to admit that Lady Gaga certainly put in that werk when it came to paying tribute to the late Mr. Bowie at least year’s ceremony. With a Nigel Rodgers production helm that crammed nine of the late singer’s tunes into just over five minutes, the Super Bowled diva launched things off with a carefully timed video duet with Bowie on his legendary intro to “Space Oddity,” in which by the time she strutted to “Fashion,” it felt as if Gaga owned all of it, those quirky piano moves and all.
Of course, Gaga did all of this while being all dressed up in David’s signature dud and eye make up, in which the “Poker Face” diva was also criticized for, naturally. Well, that’s because she’s in fact, not David Bowie, in which not even Ms. Lady her damn self could ever replicate. But if there’s one thing we can all agree on here, it’s that both Gaga’s Grammy tribute and Bowie’s iconic legacy both had a delightfully quirky weirdness to them that no one will ever forget anytime soon.
Warren Zevon Tribute (2004) Another moving Grammy moment in which every time we watch we can’t, but then we simply can when it comes to this star-studded tribute affair to the late Mr. Zevon. After he was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2002, Zevon planned his farewell and called on some of his music besties including Don Henley, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty (and many, many more) to the studio to record The Wind, which was released two weeks before his unfortunate death. The well received record did earn Zevon five posthumous Grammy nods the following year, in which all those stars came together to perform closing ballad, “Keep Me in Your Heart,” which not only gave us another moving Grammy tribute we’ll never forget, but proves that big things do happen when we work together to spread the love, especially for the great Mr. Zevon.
Melissa Etheridge/Joss Stone (Janis Joplin Tribute, 2005) Although this ignited and diva-owned performance was indeed an incredible tribute to mark the 35th anniversary of Janis Joplin’s tragic overdose, it’s a better Grammy reminisce sesh of Ms. Etheridge’s l;I’ve music comeback following her extended treatment for breast cancer. It’s truly everything, more and then some. Just watch.
Mick Jagger/Raphael Saadiq (Solomon Burke Tribute, 2011) While some, okay, all of us, might’ve said “wtf” when it came to the annoucement for Mr. Jagger’s love for Mr. Burke, let alone the odd pairing of being alongside the great Mr. Saadiq. But since this is the Rolling Stones legend we’re spilling about here, he of course, Mick nailed it and gave us a Grammy memory for daze, complete with all those trademark Jagger moves that we’ve come to own and dare try to replicate these past hundred years…and he’s still got it, kids. And fact…this was Mr. Jagger’s first ever Grammy performance. Ever.
Eric Clapton/”Tears in Heaven” (Tribute to his son, 1992) Sigh…we can’t and we won’t ever will. Because…life.
Glenn Frey Tribute/2016 Another stunning tribute from last year’s show when Eagles co-founder Bernie Leadon, country legend Jackson Browne and surviving Eagles’ Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit gathered for a touching tribute honoring the band’s drummer, the late great Glenn Frey. As much as it was a somber affair to remember, which were delivered an easy, breezy stunning set that reminded us just how truly special the late drummer’s groovy vibes will always be.
Jennifer Hudson/”Hallelujah” (Leonard Cohen Tribute, 2016 Clive Davis Grammy Party) Because she’s just that Grammy diva, there’s always plenty of room for a double dose of Ms. Hudson on this list, and once you gag over her performance of the late Mr. Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” you certainly know why as the Dreamgirls diva done did it again.
Bruno Mars/Prince Tribute (Tonight) If there’s any music artist who we’d let even come close to matching the Purple One’s long lasting pulsating presence in a touching tribute, it’s Mr. Bruno Mars, who’s taking on the oh, so dangerous task during tonight’s show. Of course, this also get us diving headfirst into the Prince Grammy performance vault, in which one word describes his link up with Bey for a medley of “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” and “Crazy in Love”….slay.
Adele/George Michael Tribute So, coming out from behind the words here, I’m thinking we’re pretty good here when it comes to Ms. Adele paying tribute to Mr. Michael. Plus, she’s performing “Fastlove.” And she’s she opening the show with her own set. Check, check and cheerio.