Music legends Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Chris Stapleton combined forces to create an unforgettable performance at the 2021 Grammy Awards. This star-studded collaboration was introduced by Billy Crystal, who gave a special shoutout to his legendary producer uncle, Milt Gabler. The trio took the audience through a nostalgic journey of some of the greatest hits of Motown and country music, leaving everyone in the audience dancing and singing along.
The performance began with Wonder backed by the group WanMor, as they took the crowd through the Temptations’ “The Way You Do the Things You Do.” Robinson then joined the stage for “Tears of a Clown,” which he co-wrote with Wonder and Hank Cosby in 1967. For the finale, Stapleton joined for “Higher Ground,” sporting a cowboy hat with a turquoise stone. They jammed towards the end, with Stapleton shredding on guitar, as everyone from Shania Twain to Chris Martin danced in the audience.
The performance was the perfect way to cap off a big Grammy weekend for Robinson, who was honored as a 2023 MusiCares Person of the Year, along with Motown founder Berry Gordy. The pair were fêted with a special tribute concert on Friday, Feb. 3, which featured performances from John Legend, the Isley Brothers, Michael McDonald, Brandi Carlile, Dionne Warwick, Sheryl Crow, Chloe x Halle, and more. Robinson also recently announced his first album of all new material since 2009, Gasms (yes, seriously), which is set to arrive April 28.
As for Stapleton, he was nominated for just one Grammy this year, Best Country Song for “I’ll Love You Till the Day I Die,” a collaboration with Willie Nelson. Wonder, meanwhile, has 25 total Grammys to his name; his last one came in 2007 for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for a rendition of “For Once in My Life” with Tony Bennett.
The trio’s performance at the 2021 Grammy Awards was a beautiful reminder of the power of music and the collaboration of some of the most iconic music legends of all time. It was a night that will go down in history, and one that will never be forgotten.