Monday, April 15, 2024

Exclusive: Lenny Kravitz Writes Gladys Knight an Oscar-Buzzed Song for “The Butler”


So: when I saw Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” at an early screening, there was a little section in the mid 1970s that featured Gladys Knight and the Pips singing “Midnight Train to Georgia.” But last night, in the same spot, there was another Gladys Knight song, and this one was all new and original. It’s called “You and I Ain’t Nothin’ No More.”

It turns out that just three weeks ago, Lenny Kravitz– who’s in the movie– was asked to write a new song to give “The Butler” an entry for that Oscar category. A few singers were considered including Diana Ross. But sources tell me that everyone involved just wanted Gladys. The song as it is now in the movie is an acoustic version. I’m told that a fuller version, with a symphony orchestra, will make it into the final print.

Kravitz told me last night at the premiere of “The Butler”: “Gladys is one of the most underrated singers of all time. I mean, overshadowed. She’s phenomenal. And her voice remains amazing.” I agree. Gladys is undoubtedly the best female vocalist ever to come from Motown. Hands down. And now she’s on her way to an Oscar nomination. I am sure we’ll see her on the stage of the Dolby Theater next March 2nd.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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