The 59th Annual Grammys are happening this Sunday, February 12th, with our favorite artists like Lady Gaga
, and Daft Punk
featured throughout the night. Every year, the Grammys take the time to remember passed artists legacies and the ones who were taken too soon. It was recently announced that tributes would be paid to Prince and George Michael in celebration of their music, so let's take a look back our favorite tribute performances that honored the lives of these respected artists.
1. Aretha Franklin
I love tributes that are packed with leading ladies. Each of the women featured (Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Martina McBride, Florence Welch, and Yolanda Adams) sang their hearts out to "You Make Me Feel" which easily puts this performance at number one on our list. But what made this performance so memorable were the different types of soul-signing women brought to the table. It's no secret that Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Hudson are powerful singers, but Florence Welch in particular hit the show-stopping note at end of "Freedom" that makes Aretha proud.
2. Bob Marley
When a performance unites a different genre of singers together for one performance, there's a high chance they're paying tribute to Bob Marley. Marley's music is all about unity and celebrating diversity. Bruno kicked off the performance with his own hits but was soon jamming out to classic Marley with Sting, Rihanna, and of course Ziggy and Damian Marley. The whole crowd was drenched in red, yellow, and green; making the whole layout seem relaxed and harmonized. That's the perfect way to pay tribute to Marley.
3. David Bowie
Lady Gaga is a huge David Bowie fan; we know this from her first album cover photo-shoots. Back then it was hard to find a photo of Gaga without sporting the classic Ziggy Stardust lightning bolt across her face. She embodied everything David Bowie believed in and put on an artistic performance. From her powerful voice to the inspired outfits - Bowie would definitely be cheering in the crowd.
4. The Beatles
Beatles tributes can be tricky. Everybody has their own opinions on them and they're usually negative. I know the general consensus on Beatles covers is "don't do them," but I don't want to hear it. Listen to Pharrell Williams rock out on drums like Ringo would and dance to, "I Saw Her Standing There" with joy because Vince Gill, Dave Matthews, and Sting are having the time of their life rocking to their heroes.
5. Etta James
This performance makes our list because two of the sultriest ladies cover a sultry and classic song by Etta James. Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt cover "A Sunday Kind of Love," so tenderly as if Etta was there on stage with them. I love this collaboration because it was cozy and shed light on the legacy Etta left behind.
6. Whitney Houston
This one is the most touching because of how unexpected and mournful it was. Jennifer Hudson's somber performance demonstrates the pain we all felt after learning about Whitney Houston's passing. The tribute was quickly put together only hours after the singer's untimely death. Jennifer Hudson is underrated; this was a respectful rendition and it is clear what Whitney meant to Jennifer. With little rehearsal time for this performance, it is safe to assume that "I Will Always Love You" is a song she sang growing up endlessly and will for the rest of her life. Through the heartbreak she must have felt, Jennifer kept it together as we remembered the singer at the Grammys for a final time.