Monday, June 17, 2024

EXCLUSIVE Adele Will Sing At the Grammys After All, Stevie Wonder Taping a Segment, Plus Notes from Motown Madness Blow Out Show


It was quite a busy Friday in Grammy land.

But first the big news: Adele is actually going to sing on the Grammy telecast Sunday. Adele is doing a show tonight in Las Vegas, and did one last night. I’ve no doubt she’s exhausted. But one more song? My guess is she’ll sing “Easy On Me,” the big hit from her “30” album. The performance may earn her Album of the Year, we’ll see.

Also, I’m told that Stevie Wonder is taping a segment today for airing on Sunday. Last night Stevie was one of the many highlights at the Motown tribute for Musicares along with Lionel Richie, Valerie Simpson, the Four Tops, the Temptations, Rita Wilson, Sheryl Crow, John Legend and many others — Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson, honorees for the evening, were literally in tears and cheering for act after act the Los Angeles Convention Center with like 3,000 people having dinner in formal attire. Music master Greg Philliganes conducted the band, arranged the music, and deserves a 21 gun salute.

There were many highlights I’ll get into later today, but one was the Isley Brothers. They had one massive hit, “This Old Heart of Mine,” then split and had a huge career with songs like Who’s that Lady and For the Love of You. Ernie Isley, bedecked in a gold suit, kind of levitated during his performance, the audience went wild. He told me backstage, “We haven’t done that song in about a hundred years.”

Among the many cool people in the audience were Tom Hanks, cheering on wife Rita Wilson, Beatles wives Olivia Harrison and Nancy McCartney, star jeweler Loree Rodkin, Barry White’s widow Glodean (she was the voice of Love Unlimited “Walking in the Rain”) star of stars Nikki Haskell, and producer Suzanne DePasse, who has always kept the trains running on time for Berry Gordy. (She’s quite remarkable and needs her own tribute!)

Pictures and video coming later today…and more notes…

What else did I do on Friday? A quick hop over to the ASCAP lumch at the Four Seasons Hotel, where I ran into the great Peter Asher, legendary music exec Dick Wingate, and Jermaine Dupri was the deejay!

This was followed by catching Elvis Costello and the Imposters rehearsing for Clive Davis’s pre-Grammy dinner at the Beverly Hilton. I’m always happy to see Elvis, Steve Nieve, Pete Thomas, Davey Farragher, and guest player Charlie Sexton, who’s also associated with Bob Dylan’s band. Insanely good rocking. And there will be a special guest with them I’ll tell you about tomorrow.

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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