John Legend, Ed Sheeran, Andra Day, Celine Dion and other pop, R&B, rock and country stars will pay homage to the Bee Gees and the Australian group’s blockbuster 1977 soundtrack album Saturday Night Fever in an all-star Grammy Awards-related salute from the Recording Academy, CBS and AEG Ehrlich Ventures.
Stayin’ Alive: A Grammy Salute To The Music Of The Bee Gees, marking the 40th anniversary of the album that spent 24 weeks atop the Billboard sales chart from 1977 to 1978, will also feature Keith Urban, Tori Kelly, Pentatonix, DNCE, Little Big Town, Demi Lovato and others.
The modern-day stars will be joined by Bee Gees founding member Barry Gibb during a Feb 14 concert at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles and recorded for broadcast later this year. Maurice Gibb died in 2003 and Robin Gibb in 2012.
Describing the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack as “an emblem of 1970s pop culture”, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow also said in a statement, “With expert harmonies, undeniable groove and a personal charisma matching their on-stage persona, the iconic band of brothers defined not just a genre, but a generation.”
Longtime Grammy Awards telecast executive producer Ken Ehrlich told The Times: “They had a remarkable impact on several generations of music. Their harmonies certainly influenced generations to follow. I have always been a huge fan, and I’m really glad we’re going to be doing this.”
He said that while the music from Saturday Night Fever, album, which spawned hits including Stayin’ Alive, How Deep Is Your Love and Night Fever, will form one anchor of the show, performers will also delve into other facets of the group’s musical legacy, which dates to 1967 with the Bee Gees’ first US hit, New York Mining Disaster 1941.
Saturday Night Fever collected an album of the year Grammy Award. The Recording Industry Association of America has certified sales of 15 million copies in the United States alone.
The salute follows in the recent tradition of spin-off specials featuring many of the artistes who attend the Grammy Awards ceremony itself, as performers, presenters, nominees or audience members.
The first such special was The Beatles: The Night That Changed America in 2014 on the 50th anniversary of the group’s watershed performance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
That was followed early in 2015 by Stevie Wonder: Songs In The Key Of Life and then Sinatra 100: An All-Star Grammy Concert in December of that year. Unlike the Beatles and Wonder specials, which tied in with Grammy ceremonies both years, the Sinatra tribute was shot separately in Las Vegas. – Los Angeles Times/Tribune News Service/Randy Lewis