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Elton John Gershwin Prize Performances Ranked



Elton John Gershwin Prize Performances Ranked

You don’t wish to miss Elton John & Bernie Taupin: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Fashionable Music, which is able to air in primetime on PBS stations nationwide on Monday (April 8). (Test native listings.)

The 2-hour particular was taped throughout a tribute live performance at DAR Structure Corridor in Washington, D.C. on March 20. Billboard had a (fortunate) correspondent within the room, who filed this report.

The success of the present is a tribute to the standard and vary of the songs written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, in fact, and in addition to good manufacturing decisions by Ken Ehrlich, who govt produced and wrote the present. Ehrlich, who oversaw the annual Grammy telecast for 40 years, integrated discuss segments with each songwriters, in addition to Elton’s long-time music director Davey Johnstone; previous Gershwin Prize recipients Sir Paul McCartney (the one earlier British honoree), Carole King, Stevie Marvel and Emilio & Gloria Estefan; and Robert Hilburn, the previous Los Angeles Instances pop music critic whose rave assessment of Elton’s 1970 present on the Troubadour in L.A. gave the singer an enormous increase.

These discuss segments present a lot context and perception. In a single, Elton stated how a lot American music has at all times meant to him. “Thanks, America, for the music you’ve given us all around the world. It’s an unbelievable legacy that you’ve – all of the great blues, the jazz, classical, all of the songs the Gershwin brothers [George and Ira] wrote. It’s simply unbelievable. … I’m so proud to be British and to be right here in America to obtain this award, as a result of all my heroes have been American.”

Elton additionally put his music with Bernie within the context of the Nice American Songbook. “We write songs that we hope will final. And our songs have lasted – and so have the Gershwins, Rodgers & Hammerstein, all these great folks. The Cole Porters of the world. They wrote traditional songs, and when you write a traditional that individuals love, it by no means goes away.”

Elton’s band backed the varied artists, main Elton to say “That is the primary time in my life the place I’ve sat within the viewers and listened to my band. And I do know they’re good, however they’re superb!” He additionally paid the last word tribute to his companion. “He provides me the lyrics after which I write the music. With out the lyrics, I’d be working in any file retailer on this planet.”

Elton John and Bernie Taupin: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Fashionable Music is a co-production of WETA Washington, D.C.; Ken Ehrlich Productions, Inc.; and the Library of Congress. It will likely be out there by way of broadcast and streaming on and the PBS App.

An finish title card devoted the present to Tony Bennett, the 2017 Gershwin Prize recipient, who died in July at 96. The present honoring Bennett and final 12 months’s present honoring Joni Mitchell each obtained Primetime Emmy nods. This present additionally deserves Emmy consideration.

All however one of many 14 songs carried out on the present appeared on Billboard’s 2022 rating The 75 Greatest Elton John Songs: Employees Listing, which was keyed to the star’s seventy fifth birthday that 12 months. In case you missed it, right here it’s. Learn it earlier than or after the present, however not throughout. You don’t wish to miss a second.

Listed here are all of the performances on the present ranked from least to most memorable. (Three artists carried out a number of songs. We listed their songs collectively.) No shade to the performers who aren’t ranked excessive: The competitors for “better of the night time” honors was fierce. And the way can Elton not be No. 1 on his personal tribute? We’ve all heard him sing his songs many occasions, so there was no component of shock there like there was with the highest three alternatives.

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