Recapping the Grammy tributes to the legends we lost last year while revisiting our favourite Zoomer interviews with some of music's most celebrated artists.
At the outset, the 2017 Grammy Awards set out to strike a delicate balance—pulling off the most star-studded music event of the year with A-list award winners and performers while also acknowledging and honouring an almost unprecedented number of celebrated artists who passed away in 2016.
As Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich bluntly told Rolling Stone magazine ahead of the ceremony, "You've got a lot of people incredibly excited about being nominated. I don't want to deny them by devoting a third of the show to people who've passed away."
And a "third of the show" isn't an exaggeration. Since last year's Grammy's, the music world's lost luminaries of the likes of Prince, Leonard Cohen, George Michael, Sir George Martin, Merle Haggard, Leon Russell, Frank Sinatra Jr. and Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, just to name a few. So the real question coming into this year's ceremony was how the Grammy's would honour the long list of performers who've passed away while not turning the broadcast into the world's most star-studded wake. And by the end of the broadcast we got our answer—a show filled with stars and performances but punctuated, appropriately, with tributes to the legends lost in the last year.
John Legend and actress-singer Cynthia Erivo performed a moving In Memoriam with "God Only Knows", the song by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher in 1966 for the Beach Boys.
Adele paid homage to George Michael with hi song "Fastlove" (after endearing herself with the crowd after stopping it abruptly, saying she needed to start over to get it right.) The show also gave a purple-hued tribute to Prince with the Time, the funk group from Minneapolis who often performed with Prince. Bruno Mars honoured the legend by impersonating Prince with his makeup, performance style and even the shape of his guitar. But it was Beyoncé's 5-year-old daughter who stole the spotlight when, dressed as Prince, she crashed the host James Corden's carpool karaoke.
In the spirit of honouring music legends, we dug through our archives to find some of our favourite Zoomer interview quotes with renowned singers and songwriters—from Bryan Adams to Stevie Nicks to Sting and Loretta Lynn—who've sat down with us over the years to discuss music, art and aging.
Rock legend Bryan Adams on whether it's possible to know an artist through their music:
"I don't think anybody can totally reveal themselves through their music. There is always going to be a question mark, and that's the intangible and beautiful thing about music. You can't analyze everything about it because it is a mystery, and that's incredible and exciting." Click here for the full interview.
Country legend Loretta Lynn remembers her "best moment" as a recording artist:
"Well, I'm really not that good of a singer. I just sing. Somebody asked me the other day what's the best moment I ever had since I've been recording, and I said when Pavarotti had his show in L.A. He wanted me to do a show with him and I did that was one of the neatest memories because I loved him. He was such a great man…That was something that nobody else could say [they did], that was in country music. They could not say that they'd sung with Pavarotti. But he fell in love with the song, "One's on the Way." [Laughs] Isn't that funny? He loved that song. I couldn't believe it."
Glass Tiger's Alan Frew on how music aided in his recovery after his stroke in 2015:
"The need to recover and get back to being the vocalist who performed these songs at this level is helping propel and inspire my recovery. I have set the bar high and I won't settle for anything less so now the challenge is set and the mountain has to be climbed." Click here for the full interview.
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