Home Music 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.

Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is 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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