Some of music’s living legends and hottest stars came out to pay homage at the Songs in the Key of Life: An All-Star Grammy Salute tribute to Stevie Wonder tonight and, Twitter can agree, it was better than the Grammys that aired last week. Sure, the tribute didn’t have Kanye West rolling up on Beck as he accepted the golden gramophone for “Record Of The Year,” but the event got us on our feet.
The evening began with Beyonce singing a Wonder staple, “Fingertips, Pt 2” before being joined on stage by Ed Sheeran. The two to belt out “Master Blaster (Jammin’) with Gary Clark, Jr and ended their set with a feet-stomping performance of “Higher Ground.”
Later in the evening, John Legend put his foot all up in it when he romanced the crowd singing Wonder’s “I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever).” Twitter couldn’t contain themselves over the crooner’s voice and tickling the ivories:
John had everyone in their feelings, didn’t he?? Funny gal Maya Rudolph shared a sweet memory she had of Wonder, when she was a child. The SNL alum recalled to the crowd when she was 4 years old, Wonder and her mother the late Minnie Riperton played songs in the living room while she played. While kids are learning how to count, Maya was chillin’ with Stevie at her house. How cool is that to brag about at nursery school?
Meanwhile, Lady Gaga dialed it down a notch to serenade the audience to Wonder’s “I Wish,” which was fine by us but apparently some just weren’t feeling it. Gaga was on point with the vocals, but viewers were not here for her get up. Considering some of the things she’s worn in the past (meat dress anyone?), this was tame in Gaga standards.
Ya’ll cut Gaga a break. Babyface showed why is is the go-to guy for love songs, as he and Ariana Grande teamed up for a duet of a Woner staple, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” and we must admit, it could give Wonder’s original a run for his money. But you already know the blueprint is better than the carbon copy.
Now we were all for Pharrell Williams and Ryan Tedder having everyone rock out to their version of “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing,”but skateboard P once again had everyone talking about the wrong thing: his outfit. The rapper/producer’s look just wasn’t a hit with Twitter and they let it be known.
Janelle Monáe, India.Arie, and Jill Scott, teamed up as a trio for a kick your shoes off version of “As” and it was truly something for the record books. The harmonizing of all three ladies was on point and showcased each of their ranges without it being an all-out battle on who’s the better singing diva. Next, Jennifer Hudson came with the thunder when she sang “All Is Fair in Love.” JHud’s taken a bad rap by some claiming she sings too loud but with this Wonder tune, she gave it the perfect touch and proved why she’s a songbird that shouldn’t be written off. Right before the man of the hour came on stage, Ne-Yo and Wonder’s daughter Aisha Morris performed “Isn’t She Lovely,” the same tune her father wrote when she was born. Aisha showcased the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when she sang the tune to her pops.
Closing out the show was Wonder himself who let folks know who was boss at performing his own hits, such as “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” “Ribbon in the Sky,” “Contusion,” and “Superstition.” You know it is a good affair when rap superstar Jay-Z and wife Bey are all up in the audience having their own little concert with each other.
Can’t nobody do Stevie, like Stevie! The iconic singer shut it all the way down when he was joined onstage by participants when he crushed his popular version of “Happy Birthday” and “Another Star.” Viewers weren’t disappointed by Wonder’s performance and couldn’t stop praising the 64-year-old for a job well done.