Grammys’ in memoriam especially long, grim in pandemic year

Entertainment
Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile performs during the “In Memoriam” section of the 63rd Grammy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Tuesday, March 9, 2021. The awards show airs on March 14 with both live and prerecorded segments. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Brandi Carlile paid tribute to John Prine, Bruno Mars celebrated Little Richard and Lionel Richie honored Kenny Rogers during an in memoriam segment on Sunday night’s Grammy Awards that featured an especially long list of names after a year of the coronavirus pandemic.

In one of four performances interspersed between the names and faces in the montage of the past year’s dead, Carlile sang “I Remember Everything” for Prine, one of the musical artists lost to the coronavirus, along with country singers Charley Pride and K.T. Oslin, musician and composer Adam Schlesinger, folk singer Trini Lopez and many others.

Earlier Sunday, Prine won two posthumous Grammys for best American roots song and best American roots performance, a year after receiving a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys.

Carlile told The Associated Press that it didn’t bother her to be performing without an audience at the pandemic-restricted Grammys because “this time I’m just performing for John Prine. It’s just for John, and I know he’s there.”

Mars, joined by Anderson .Paak blazed through Little Richard’s “Good Golly Miss Molly” and Richie sang “Lady,” the ballad he wrote and Rogers made a hit, adding, “I miss you Kenny” as he ended.

Former Alabama Shakes singer Brittany Howard, backed up by Coldplay’s Chris Martin on piano, ended the tribute with a stirring version of the Broadway standard “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Among those named in the montage was jazz pianist Chick Corea, who won two Grammys on Sunday only about a month after his death.

Corea, who died of a rare form of cancer at age 79, won the trophy for best improvised jazz solo and best jazz instrumental album.

Host Trevor Noah introduced the segment by telling viewers that they can see the names of nearly 1,000 people in the music industry who died in the past year at Grammys.com.

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AP Entertainment Writer Jonathan Landrum contributed to this report.

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Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton.

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