Speed Reads

2021 Grammys

Brandi Carlile plays John Prine, Lionel Richie sings Kenny Rogers in COVID-length Grammys memorial tribute

An unusually long list of musicians, producers, and others involved the music industry were memorialized during Sunday night's Grammy Awards, reflecting a year in which COVID-19 ravaged performers along with the rest of humanity. The in memoriam segment included famous musicians as well as people most music fans wouldn't recognize, and three of the artists lost in 2020 — Little Richard, Kenny Rogers, and John Prine — were honored with live performances.

Brandi Carlile celebrated Prine with "I Remember Everything," a song that won him two posthumous Grammys on Sunday night.

Lionel Richie sang the Kenny Rogers hit "Lady," which Richie wrote. "I miss you Kenny," he said at the end.

Bruno Mars, with Anderson.Paak on drums, kicked things off with a tribute to Little Richard, a medley of "Long Tall Sally" and "Good Golly Miss Molly."

And Brittany Howard, formerly with Alabama Shakes, wrapped up the in memoriam segment with "You'll Never Walk Alone," a song from the musical Carousel that was a hit for Gerry Marsden, who died in January. Howard was accompanied on piano by Coldplay's Chris Martin.

The performers at this year's Grammys didn't have live audiences because of the pandemic, but Carlile told The Associated Press that didn't bother her too much. "This time I'm just performing for John Prine," she said. "It's just for John, and I know he's there."