Take all of your favorite rock icons, throw them in a room together and what do you get? A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert of course!
In 2009, the institution celebrated its 25th anniversary by hosting a bash at Madison Square Garden.
The concert was attended by a wide variety of artists and celebrities, gathering to commemorate one another’s achievements. The organization has long been known for its efforts to preserve the history of rock and roll. Inductees are voted on by a panel of experts and valued by their influence and significance to the genre.
The 25th anniversary concert brought some of the best names into the spotlight.
Each performer was invited to play a segment of the show, presenting their own songs or performing covers of their colleagues’.
To keep the element of excitement alive and well, many of the performers had special guests come to perform on stage with them—big names who we all know and love. The concert was split amongst eight segments, giving stage time to Crosby, Stills and Nash, Simon and Garfunkel, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Aretha Franklin, Jeff Beck (filling in for Eric Clapton), Metallica and U2.
While nobody disappointed, Stevie Wonder gave a riveting performance as we’re sharing in this clip.
The beloved and legendary singer-songwriter took his rightful place on stage and proceeded to tear down the entire house.
Positioned at a large keyboard, the familiar and funky notes of “Higher Ground” began to ring out. And to the sheer delight of the crowd, they rise to meet it in fits of applause and cheers. This groovy anthem is what memories are made of!
But the deal is only sweetened when surprise guest Sting arrives on stage to play the driving bassline and help sing.
Could there possibly be a duo more perfectly suited for one another?
With just one listen, you can see just how perfectly the two complement one another.
Their musical styles are a true match, and together they groove out this hit of a song. It’s a joy to watch, and its nearly impossible to stand still as they belt out the familiar lyrics, “Gonna keep on tryin’, ‘Til I reach my highest ground.” Backup singers and a horn section enrich the entire performance.
But the magic does not stop there.
The song stops, Stevie Wonder formally introduces Sting, and the next thing you know we’re catapulted headfirst into his iconic song, “Roxanne.”
In a turning of the tables, Sting takes the lead while Stevie Wonder plays the keys and assists with backup vocals.
The crowd is completely smitten, and so are we! The band jams out and breaks it down with the horns and the drums, and we’re left reeling from these two funky masters of music.
And before you know it, you realize this was just an interlude, and the band shifts right back into “Higher Ground.”
This unforgettable performance is being kept alive across the internet.
On YouTube, it’s had over nine million views and 45,000 likes! Many viewers have chimed in to express their adoration for these two legends, commenting:
“Watching Stevie Wonder perform brings me to tears because I’ve never seen anyone else perform with such heart, passion, and joy. For him, it is ALL about the music and sharing that amazing feeling with the whole world.”
“Sting’s voice is fantastic on Roxanne – he clearly warmed up properly before singing with a God.”
Ready to experience this epic hall of fame performance for yourself? Check out Sting and Stevie Wonder perform together live in the video below!
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