The 2024 Grammy Awards witnessed a beautiful homage to Tony Bennett, who passed away last year at 96, by Stevie Wonder.
Wonder opened the In Memoriam section of the show at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
He performed ‘For Once in My Life’ on the piano, accompanied by a video of Bennett singing the same song.
Stevie then sang ‘The Best is Yet to Come’, a song that Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh composed for Tony Bennett in 1962.
Wonder had been inspired by Bennett’s rendition of ‘For Once in My Life’ when he was a young teen, and recorded his own version of the song in 1968. He also collaborated with Bennett on the song for Bennett’s 2006 Duets album.
Stevie expressed his admiration for Bennett, saying: “What’s amazing is I was able to actually sing the song with someone that I admired for so long.
Stevie Wonder performs during “In Memoriam” at Grammys 2024
“Not just because of his voice, which was incredible, but because of his love for art. His love for peace. His love for unity. His love for civil rights. Yes, I remember as a little boy him being in places where most people would not even go to stand for the right for freedom for everyone.
“Tony, I’m going to miss you forever. I love you always and God bless that God allowed us to have you and have us in this time and space in our life.”
The 2024 In Memoriam tribute also featured Annie Lennox honouring Sinead O’Connor, and Fantasia Barrino singing ‘Proud Mary’ for Tina Turner.
Some of the artists who were honoured in the tribute were Jimmy Buffett, Shane MacGowan, Rudolph Isley, Mary Weiss, Burt Bacharach, Denny Laine, Jane Birkin, Randy Meisner, Gary Wright, Terry Kirkman, Melanie, Marlena Shaw, Gordon Lightfoot and Andy Rourke.
Others who were remembered were Rodriquez, Bobby Caldwell, Rita Lee, Chita Rivera, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Tugoy the Dove, Ahmad Jamal, Gangsta Boo, Les McCann, Wayne Kramer, David Lindley, Charlie Robison, Michael Rhodes, Gary Rossington, George Winston, Jean Knight, Russell Batiste Jr., Aaron Spears and Magoo.