The Grammys went a step ahead this year to honour musicians who passed away over the last year. Apart from the usual display of names and photos of the artistes, which is the annual feature, this year the honour also included performances of songs by four musicians — Little Richard, Kenny Rogers, John Prine and Gerry Marsden — who died in the past year.
Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak (or Silk Sonic) performed “Long tall Sally” and “Good golly, Miss Molly”, two of the biggest hits of Little Richard, as a tribute to the rock ‘n’ roll pioneer, who died of bone cancer in May.
Lionel Richie sang “Lady”, his 1980 song that was first recorded by Kenny Rogers, who died last March. “I miss you Kenny,” he said after the performance.
Singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile performed John Prine’s “I remember everything”. Country-folk singer Prine died of Covid complications in April.
Singer Brittany Howard, with Coldplay’s Chris Martin on the piano, sang “You’ll never walk alone,” a song from the musical “Carousel” that was covered by the Liverpool rock band Gerry And The Pacemakers. The band’s frontman Gerry Marsden died in January this year.
The Grammys this year also paid tribute to Charley Pride, Eddie Van Halen, Adam Schlesinger and Ellis Marsalis. The list of those lost included nearly 1,000 people and could not be featured in full in the program but was posted online.