Last night was one of the best music nights of my life.
It started off with a day at the Grammy Museum checking out an exhibit on my favorite rapper of all time, Tupac. Then afterward, an all-star Grammy salute to Stevie Wonder at the Nokia Theater. And that all-star showcase was phenomenal. But before I get to that, I want to tell you how this all came about.
I always sign up to be a seatfiller for great Hollywood events and I so happen to get one for this Stevie Wonder tribute show (which airs next Monday on CBS). So since I will be heading to Nokia Theater that day, I decided to go check out the Grammy Museum. I have been there before but that was over a year ago and there was a new Tupac exhibit there. So me and my friend met up and checked it out. It was a small little wing of the museum but it was impressive.
The exhibit was filled with lots of clothing he had worn during his time. The walls had different videos from his career, including interviews and music videos. What was really amazing to see was the display of his original notes, song lyrics and poems. To actually see his own handwritten stuff was phenomenal.
He had so many plans ahead of him that never came to life. He had several screenplays he had written, ideas for new albums and lyrics to songs that were just waiting to be produced. A lot of the potential was there but it never came to be. It was a really nice exhibit. It was small, but it gave me a little bit of more understanding and knowledge of my favorite rapper of all time.
There was also a huge exhibit on Taylor Swift there too. I know very little about her but it was huge. Tons of her dresses and her guitars and many other things there.
But after that, it was time for me to wait in line and get ready to attend the Grammy taping. It will be a two-hour set and as a seatfiller, I had to just fill in seats during the show when people move around. To make it look good for TV, seats had to be filled.
I was on my feet all day and finally I got to be assigned to my seat. I walked by Pharrell and stood next to him for a minute. Cool stuff. But shortly after I was assigned my seat, I was told to move again as the rightful people arrived.
Then in the back I was there for the rest of the night without having to move.
Let me tell you, this show was amazing. I might say this was the best concert I had ever attended. Check out the list of people that were there to perform: Beyonce, Janelle Monae, Jennifer Hudson, Annie Lennox, Ariana Grande, Andrea Bocelli, Pharrell, Babyface, Ed Sheeran, Jill Scott, Ne-Yo, India.Arie, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Tony Bennett and more.
Beyonce was amazing!
The entire show was artists singing Stevie Wonder songs as he sat there in the front row. I had never seen Stevie before but this was some sort of beautiful. It was a celebration of his amazing work as a musician, an artist and an activist. The entire place was simply in love with all the performances. Beyonce was great. Annie Lennox was also fun. Jill Scott, Jannelle Monae and India.Arie did a song together and it was fun. My biggest surprise was Lady Gaga playing the piano. Simply beautiful.
The best part of the night was probably the story of how “Isn’t She Lovely” was a song Stevie wrote about his daughter. And as Ne-Yo performed it, he was joined on stage by Stevie’s daughter Aisha; she ended the song saying “I love you daddy.” Tears.
The show was hosted by lip-licking LL Cool J. Also making an appearance was Craig Robinson, Tyler Perry, Jamie Foxx and Gladys Knight.
At the very end, Stevie got on stage and sang a few tracks, finished off by “Superstition.” After the song, every performer joined him on stage. Stevie then took the microphone and gave the most beautiful speech about love. You have to see it to believe it. Previously during a vignette, they documented how Stevie advocated for MLK to get a national holiday and how he composed his birthday song for MLK. The evening ended with everyone on stage singing that song.
Beautiful. Amazing. What a show. So many great artists paying tribute to a legend. Earlier in the evening, we were told Beyonce (who replaced the originally scheduled Usher) was asked about performing at the Grammys and Stevie’s show and she was way more excited about Stevie’s show.
Please tune in this Monday. It is one of the most beautiful, musical performances you will ever see.
“Fingertips/Master Blaster/Higher Ground,” Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran and Gary Clark Jr.
“For Once in My Life ,” Tony Bennett
“I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever),” John Legend
“My Cherie Amour,” Annie Lennox
“I Wish,” Lady Gaga
“I Just Called To Say I Love You,” Andrea Bocelli
“Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” Ariana Grande and Babyface
“You Haven’t Done Nothin‘,” the Band Perry
“I Was Made to Love Her,” Ed Sheeran
“As,“ India.Arie, Janelle Monae and Jill Scott
“Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing,“ Pharrell Williams and Ryan Tedder
“All in Love Is Fair,” Jennifer Hudson
“Isn‘t She Lovely,” Aisha Morris and Ne-Yo
“Contusion/Sir Duke/You Are the Sunshine of My Life/Ribbon in the Sky/Overjoyed/Superstition,” Stevie Wonder
“Happy Birthday/Another Star,” All performers