It never crossed my mind that Stevie would attend this year’s Grammys.  But now that I think about it, him attending, like annually, is logical.  Stevie has tied or set a number of records when it comes to winning “Album of the Year” Grammys.  He’s also the most-popular pre-1970s’ African-American musician who’s not only still alive but also active.  Stevie is the man.

The way I found out he attended was actually through an article about Taylor Swift reportedly snubbing Celine Dion at the Grammys.  This was after the latter presented the former with an award.  Taylor apologized or otherwise made peace with Celine afterwards.  I like Taylor Swift, who I did a ridiculous amount of research on for another blog.  When it comes to the efficacy of her songs dealing with romance, she’s like a 21st century, White female version of Stevie Wonder.

That same New York Post article also pointed out that Stevie hooked up with Celine backstage.  In fact, they did some impromptu singing together, the type of which has been described as “just riffing”:


I don’t know the entire history between Stevie and Celine.  What I have been able to promptly dig up, first of all, is that they dropped a joint rendition of Overjoyed, as featured on Dion’s album Loved Me Back to Life, in 2013.  For those who don’t know, Wonder originally came out with Overjoyed in 1985.  It’s arguably his best love song and has been covered many times.  But the version with Celine is the only time Stevie officially collaborated with someone in rendering it, and the final product is pretty good:

For your additional pleasure, here’s (an amateur recording of) Dion performing it live, virtually alongside Stevie:

Then in 2020, during the pandemic, they co-headlined a remote charity concert called “Nurse Heroes Live!”.  Therein, Stevie and Celine participated in a supergroup performance an old Nat King Cole song, Smile, along with a few healthcare workers:


That said, Stevie didn’t attend this year’s Grammys just to chill.  He led the ‘In Memoriam’ section of the show, i.e. the part of the event where attendees pay tribute to notable musical industry figures who recently passed.  At the top of the list, particularly as far as Stevie was involved, was the late Tony Bennett.

In Tony’s honor, Stevie recounted how he first met him when he “was like 13 or 14 years old”.  He heard the elder Bennett reciting For Once in My Life, a song that Stevie would also cover later.  He was a fan of Bennett “not just because of his voice”, but also due to the legendary singer having been a civil rights’ champion.  I just looked it up, and Bennett did in fact receive a couple of awards “from the United Nations for his civil rights work”.

I couldn’t find the video of where, during the Grammy segment, Stevie reportedly performed a duet with the late singer.  But there is this (loud) amateur video of someone else watching it, while Stevie sang in tribute to other figures:

A couple of days earlier, at a pre-Grammy event, Stevie Wonder presented Mariah Carey with an award on behalf of the Black Music Collective.  There was a bit of controversy later, as some people seem to believe that Mariah left Stevie hanging.  But looking at the video, she obviously didn’t see that he was trying to hand her a mic:

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