Saturday, April 20, 2024

Grammy Memorials for Bowie, Frey , BB King, But Let’s Not Forget Natalie Cole, Ben E. King, Percy Sledge


There’s a lot of bittersweet excitement about memorial tributes on Monday night’s Grammy telecast for David Bowie and Glenn Frey. Lady Gaga and the Eagles, respectively, will perform for them. B.B. King is getting a tribute from Bonnie Raitt and Gary Clark, Jr.

There’s also supposed to be a performance by Johnny Depp’s rock band in memory of Lemmy from the hard rock band Motorhead.

But I do hope there’s something more than a nod on a card to fallen R&B greats Natalie Cole, Ben E. King, and Percy Sledge, as well as Earth Wind & Fire’s Maurice White. While I’m sure that Lemmy has his fans, I doubt much of the Grammy audience could identify one of his songs.

But “This Will Be” by Natalie Cole, “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King, “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge, “September” by Earth Wind & Fire– I would guess the entire Staples Center could sing along to those songs and know every word.

Each of those artists has already stood the test of time, certainly equal to Bowie or Frey. I’m sure the Grammy producers will come up with something neat to honor them.

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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