Two legends came together, and the world finally got to see what it looks like when American soul and European opera work in harmony.
These two giants of music have voices that fit together perfectly in a performance of the 1966 hit song “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.”
The show is almost two decades old, but it’s still pure gold.
The “Pavarotti and Friends” concert united many superstars that night.
It was a charity event, and the goal was to raise money for helping Angolan refugees in Zambia.
The “Pavarotti and Friends” concert took place in May 2002, in Rome, Italy. World-famous Italian tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, decided to invite some of the biggest names to help him put on a show by performing duets with him. Let’s just say that Lou Reed, Andrea Bocelli, Sting, Grace, Jones, and Bono Vox were there.
However, we decided to talk about Pavarotti’s duet with one of the first 10 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—the legendary American artist, James Brown.
The full concert, of course, is a complete masterpiece, but we were particularly amazed by the blend of the two voices, and just how incredible they sound together. They perform Brown’s song “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” and we never could have imagined that Pavarotti would give it such a strong impact.
You may not have expected it—we certainly didn’t think that the two of them would sound so good together!
Undoubtedly both men are legends, it’s just that they come from different genres. Still, music has no limits, that’s for sure.
What a beautiful vocal contrast!
Brown and Pavarotti are in the center of the stage.
There is a full orchestra behind them and a huge crowd in front of them. Seems like everyone in Italy came to see the wonderful concert, which can be freely described as a “once in a lifetime” event. The music is on, and Brown begins to sing.
His authentic, heavenly voice makes you recognize the song immediately.
As he gets to the chorus, Pavarotti takes the lead and sings in Italian.
The camera briefly shows the back vocalists and other members of the opera.
You can see that everyone is completely enchanted by the magical duet they’re hearing. The sight leaves you speechless for a moment!
We love the mutual respect and recognition between them.
All you can see is the class, the recognition, and the support Pavarotii and Brown give each other.
When James sang, Pavarotti listened to him without blinking, and when it was the legendary Italian’s turn to shine, Brown stood there smiling proudly, giving him a huge round of applause. It’s not only inspirational and heart-warming, but it can also teach us a lesson about sharing a spotlight.
They are both amazing in their way, but together, they created a timeless and iconic performance.
We can confidently say that the people who were lucky enough to hear this live, were incredibly privileged for five whole minutes. While we’re at it, the video’s been viewed 24 million times on YouTube. We must also add that the orchestra did an amazing job.
UNHCR’s fundraising campaign brought the “King of the High Cs” and the “Godfather of Soul” together.
Those are the titles that Pavarotti and Brown held, respectively.
After hearing them live together, we don’t doubt that they were both musical kings! The Pavarotti and Friends concert was part of a broad UNHCR effort to help refugees—and a good cause has never sounded better.
Sadly, James Brown passed away in 2006, a year before Pavarotti died.
It’s a good thing that fans have this phenomenal duet caught on tape to remember them by!
Watch the full performance below:
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Source: YouTube/Luciano Pavarotti