Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Beyoncé Sets The Stage On Fire at Star-Studded Stevie Wonder Tribute

R&B superstar Beyoncé more than lived up to her sobriquet Queen Bey in an incredible, roof-raising medley of some of Stevie Wonder’s hit songs. Her performance was one of the many highlights of the star-studded tribute special Songs in the Key of Life — An All-Star Grammy Salute, which aired Monday Night on CBS. The event was held at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

Beyoncé kicked off her performance in style with a sexy, diva-like strut down the aisle toward the stage. And once she arrived onstage, she blew the audience away with a soul-stirring performance of Stevie’s early classic “Fingertips, Pt 2.” She was then joined by British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran for a crowd-pleasing duet of the Motown legend’s 1980 hit “Master Blaster (Jammin’).” Beyoncé closed out the nine-minute medley with a powerful rendition of “Higher Ground” in which she traded vocals with acclaimed blues/R&B/rock guitarist Gary Clark, Jr., who wowed the audience with a scorching guitar solo.

The multi-Grammy winner completely commanded the stage from start to finish and demonstrated once again why she’s one of the most talented and dynamic artist/performers of her generation.

Other highlights of the night included Lady Gaga’s rousing rendition of “I Wish.” It was refreshing to see Gaga performing onstage without all the crazy gimmicks, bizarre costumes and over-the-top theatrics for a change. She showed that she can electrify an audience on pure talent alone. I think working with Tony Bennett has had a positive effect on her. We’re seeing a more mature and secure artist emerge who doesn’t feel the need to always be outrageous and over-the-top to capture an audience’s attention.

Additionally, the super-talented trio of India.Arie, Janelle Monáe and Jill Scott transfixed the audience with a brilliant reading of “As,” a track from Stevie’s landmark album Songs in the Key of Life. These three ladies did Stevie proud with this luminous performance.

Other performers at the event included Annie Lennox, John Legend, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Tony Bennett, Ariana Grande, Pharrell Williams, Andrea Bocelli, Jennifer Hudson, Ne-Yo and The Band Perry. And all of the performers brought their best to the stage for this amazing tribute special.

And for the finale, Stevie himself took to the stage to perform a medley of some of his classic tracks, including “Superstition,” “Overjoyed,” “Sir Duke,” “Ribbon in the Sky” and “You Are The Sunshine of My Life.” The multi-talented musician brought down the house with his patented stage magic and charisma. The event was a beautiful and well-deserved tribute to a true music visionary and legend.

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