She is the sultry smooth voice in the popular group Sugarland, and he’s the rugged baritone that has garnered 38 Top 10 Songs and selling more than 100 million records worldwide. And tonight she’s paying tribute to him.
Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles was asked to join the star-studded Kennedy Center Honors to pay tribute to Neil Diamond. Nettles performed one of Diamond’s most emotional ballads, “Hello Again.”
The Kennedy Center Honors is an annual event that recognizes American performing artists for their lifetime contributions to American culture.
It was a star-studded night that reached a peak when Jennifer Nettles stepped onto the stage.
Jennifer Nettles began performing at school assemblies and her Baptist church when growing up in small-town Douglas, Georgia. She rose to worldwide fame when she teamed up with Kristen Hall and Kristina Bush to form Sugarland.
Sugarland was formed in Atlanta, Georgia in 2002 and has gone on to record three albums that included fifteen singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
Neil Diamond is a worldwide superstar who is one of the best selling musicians of all time. He has had ten number one singles on the Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts.
In 1980 Diamond made his acting debut in “The Jazz Singer.” The film is an adaptation of the play of the same name by Samson Raphaelson and it included several songs by Diamond.
One heartfelt moment in the film is accompanied by Diamond singing, “Hello Again.” The song was a hit reaching number six on the Billboard Hot 100, and number three on the Adult Contemporary charts.
At the Kennedy Center Honors, Jennifer Nettles strolled out in front of the admiring audience and performed an emotional rendition of the song.
As Nettles revs her magical voice in this song, you can see how much it affects her. She puts so many emotions into the song and gives the tribute of a lifetime to Diamond.
In the audience, Diamond is seen fully taken by Nettles’s performance. It’s special to see how much it means and how much her performance is affecting him. His eyes gleam, holding back tears.
Many people in the audience are also taken with Nettles show-stopping tribute.
“Hello my friend. Hello. I just called to let you know. I think about you every night. I know it’s late, but I couldn’t wait. Hello.”
The lyrics are so emotional and personal. Many folks have felt that need to reach out to a loved one when they are thinking of them. The song is universal in that message.
Many YouTubers are celebrating this performance.
”This version gives me goosebumps … her voice is stunning.”
“What a stunning rendition of this beautiful song! She just stands there and delivers pure, raw emotion.”
“The appreciation is obvious from Neil’s face at the end of the song.”
Such a joy to see this type of tribute. If you’re a fan of Neil Diamond, then seeing his response to Nettles’s performance is just what you’re looking for.
Nettles ends the song by blowing Diamond a kiss. Ending one of the best tributes on a night when Diamond was awarded the Kennedy Center Honor. A night he’ll never forget.
Click the video below and take a glimpse into a night that Neil Diamond will forever hold dear in his heart. To be honored for his contribution to American culture and have Jennifer Nettles perform a beautiful rendition of his song, is just icing on the cake. It’s fun to relive and be a part of this stunning moment.
Watch her beautiful tribute below!
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