10-12-2017

Video: Andra Day Sings Nina Simone; Charlie Wilson & Valerie Simpson Salute Sly Stone in PBS’ Grammy Special

Charlie Wilson (L) and Valerie Simpson

Charlie Wilson (L) and Valerie Simpson

*Charlie Wilson, Valerie Simpson and Vernon Reid perform “Dance to the Music” in a tribute to Sly Stone, and Andra Day salutes Nina Simone with a performance of “Mississippi Goddam” as part of PBS’ “GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends 2017,” the second annual all-star concert spotlighting the Academy’s 2017 Special Merit Awards recipients.

Sly Stone and Nina Simone are among this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award honorees, alongside fellow recipients Shirley Caesar, Ahmad Jamal, Charley Pride, Jimmie Rodgers and the Velvet Underground.


The two-hour special, featuring rare performances by honorees and renditions by the artists they’ve inspired, was recorded in July at New York’s Beacon Theatre and will air Friday, October 13 from 9 – 11 p.m. on PBS. (Check local listings.) David Letterman’s former band director Paul Shaffer serves as musical director.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 11:  Whoopi Goldberg speaks onstage during the GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends at Beacon Theatre on July 11, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for NARAS)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 11: Whoopi Goldberg speaks onstage during the GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends at Beacon Theatre on July 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for NARAS)

There is also a special appearance by GRAMMY winner Whoopi Goldberg, who accepts for the late Nina Simone.


Along with never-before-seen video packages celebrating each of the honorees’ contributions to the music industry and our cultural heritage and heartfelt testimonials from the presenters, the event also features performances by Lifetime Achievement Award honorees John Cale and Maureen “Moe” Tucker of the Velvet Underground, Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Shirley Caesar, jazz pianist Stanley Cowell, 12-time GRAMMY winner Kirk Franklin, GRAMMY winner Le’Andria Johnson, past GRAMMY nominee Neal McCoy, six-time GRAMMY winner Randy Newman, past GRAMMY nominee Catherine Russell, Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Charley Pride, past GRAMMY nominee Russell Thompkins Jr. of The Stylistics, five-time GRAMMY winner Dionne Warwick, past GRAMMY nominee Charlie Wilson, and two-time GRAMMY winner Dwight Yoakam.

In the clips below, Andra Day explains what Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Nina Simone means to her and performs “Mississippi Goddam,” and Charlie Wilson, Valerie Simpson, and Vernon Reid perform “Dance to the Music” to honor Sly Stallone.


Below, the full lineup (the honorees in bold type; performers in parentheses):

Thom Bell

“You Make Me Feel Brand New” (Russell Thompkins Jr.)
“Then Came You” (Dionne Warwick)

Nina Simone


“Mississippi Goddam” (Andra Day)

The Velvet Underground

“I’m Waiting for The Man”/”Sunday Morning” (John Cale Band with Maureen “Moe” Tucker)

Jimmie Rodgers


“Hobo Bill’s Last Ride”/”Mule Skinner Blues”/”T for Texas” (Dwight Yoakam)
Ralph S. Peer
“Crazy Blues” (Catherine Russell)
“The Great Pretender” (Russell Thompkins Jr.)
“Georgia on My Mind” (Andra Day)

Shirley Caesar performs onstage during the GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends at Beacon Theatre in New York City.

Shirley Caesar performs onstage during the GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends at Beacon Theatre in New York City.
Photo credit: Michael Kovac/WireImage

Shirley Caesar

Medley: “You Name It”/”It’s Alright, It’s OK”/”You’re Next in Line for a Miracle “/”Satan, We’re Going to Tear Your Kingdom Down” (Kirk Franklin with Le’Andria Johnson)
“Caught Up”/”Jesus, I Love Calling Your Name” (Shirley Caesar)

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 11:  Le'Andria Johnson performs with Kirk Franklin onstage during the GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends at Beacon Theatre on July 11, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for NARAS)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 11: Le’Andria Johnson performs with Kirk Franklin onstage during the GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends at Beacon Theatre on July 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for NARAS)

Ahmad Jamal


“But Not For Me”/”Ahmad’s Blues”/”Poinciana” (Stanley Cowell)
Mo Ostin
“A Few Words in Defense of Our Country”/”I Think It’s Going To Rain Today” (Randy Newman)

Charley Pride

“Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” (Neal McCoy)
“Kiss an Angel Good Morning” (Charley Pride)

Sly Stone

“I Want to Take You Higher”/”Everybody is a Star”/”Sex Machine”/”Dance to the Music” (Charlie Wilson, Valerie Simpson, Vernon Reid)

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