Thursday, April 18, 2024

Paul Simon Honored by Grammys with TV Special Tribute Starring Stevie Wonder, Sting, Dave Matthews, and…Paul Simon!


While a huge chunk of the music business at Clive Davis’s 90th birthday extravaganza in New York, another big event was going on in Los Angeles.

As I told you first last week, the Grammys filmed a TV tribute to legendary singer songwriter Paul Simon. The show, produced by Ken Ehrlich and written by David Wild, will air on CBS sometime this spring or summer.

Among the artists who performed Simon’s songs were Stevie Wonder, Dave Matthews, Billy Porter, Brad Paisley, Rhiannon Giddens, Angélique Kidjo, Little Big Town, Trombone Shorty, Shaggy, Take 6 and the great New Orleans legend Irma Thomas.

And Paul Simon himself. The 195 minute taping concluded with Simon performing “Graceland,” “American Tune” with Giddens, and “The Sound of Silence.”

Other artists also included Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, the Jonas Brothers, Eric Church, Jimmy Cliff, Ledisi, the Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs, and Eric Idle of “Monty Python” fame. Not in attendance: Art Garfunkel, because he was in New York singing at the Davis birthday.

Presenters included Oprah Winfrey, Dustin Hoffman (who introduced “Mrs. Robinson”), Woody Harrelson, and Herbie Hancock. Sting and Bonnie Raitt each contributed videos that were rolled into the live show.

Not all of this will make a two hour special on CBS. But it would be swell to see it all on Paramount Plus one day.

How did it all turn out? We’ll have to wait until the producers do their magic and we see the finished product. But it sounds amazing. Bravo, Paul Simon!

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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