Stevie Wonder, Fantasia Barrino, Annie Lennox and Jon Batiste are set to honor recently departed music icons at the 2024 Grammy Awards, set for Sunday (Feb. 4) at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. Most have deep personal connections to the honorees.
Wonder will pay tribute to Tony Bennett, with whom he teamed to perform “For Once in My Life” on Bennett’s Grammy-winning 2006 album Duets: An American Classic. Their collab won a Grammy in 2007 for best collaboration with vocals. Both artists made the Billboard Hot 100 with the song, separately, in the 1960s. It’s not widely known that Bennett’s version charted more than a year before Wonder’s more famous version. Bennett’s version reached No. 91 in 1967. Wonder’s smash version hit No. 2 in 1968.
Fantasia will honor Tina Turner. Fantasia sang the 1960 Ike & Tina Turner classic “A Fool in Love” en route to her season 3 victory on American Idol. Oprah Winfrey will introduce Fantasia, with whom she worked on the 2023 musical version of The Color Purple, which Winfrey co-produced.
Turner appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show numerous times. The talk show icon went on the road with Turner for her 1997 Wildest Dreams tour – she even danced and sang with Turner onstage. In 2004, Turner surprised Oprah by turning up for her 50th birthday celebration. Turner performed her 1989 classic “The Best.”
Lennox will pay tribute to Sinéad O’Connor. Joining her onstage will be Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman of Prince & the Revolution. O’Connor landed her biggest hit in 1990 with Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” which was first recorded by The Family in 1985. Lead and backing vocals on The Family version were sung by Wendy’s twin sister Susannah Melvoin.
Batiste will salute Clarence Avant, often called the The Black Godfather. Avant mentored generations of Black executives and artists. Lenny Kravitz will also be a part of that segment, introducing Batiste. Kravitz and Mariah Carey were this year’s Global Impact Award recipients at The Recording Academy Honors presented by The Black Music Collective on Thursday (Feb. 1) at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles.