Chesney Helps Honor Springsteen at Grammy Event

posted February 10th, 2013 at 10:53 am

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by Josh Martn

Kenny Chesney was one of the many artists on hand Friday night to honor Bruce Springsteen as the MusicCares Person of the Year.

“This is the Italian wedding Patti [Scialfa] and I never had,” Bruce Springsteen joked in a charming, self-deprecating and passionate speech as he accepted the MusiCare’s 2013 Person of the Year honors last night at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Springsteen’s presence indicates the level of prestige held by the MusiCares award, which celebrates a performer’s extraordinary artistic achievements and philanthropic efforts. (Previous honorees have included the likes of Paul McCartney and Bono.) A key event during Grammy week, the annual Music Awards black-tie gala has become, since its inception in 1989, one of the premier music-industry gatherings for stars and suits alike. Indeed, Springsteen was clearly aware of the crowd’s baller status: “Dig in, one-percenters!” he goaded the more than 3,000 attendees during the auction, eventually netting a winning bid of $250,000 for the Telecaster package alone.

The event’s true draw, however, proved the elite talent assembled onstage to commemorate Springsteen’s legacy in what host Jon Stewart called “a 2 1/2 hour tribute to his music – for Bruce, that’s just tuning up.” The stage featured esteemed musicians from various generations of music history ranging through Springsteen’s repertoire, with frequently sublime results. The bill kicked off spectacularly with the Alabama Shakes’ loping, gritty take on “Adam Raised A Cain,” nearly surpassing the original’s raspy grandeur. Next up was Patti Smith, who gave the evening’s most cathartic moment with an intense performance of her smash Springsteen collaboration, “Because The Night.” Mumford & Sons’ turned “I’m On Fire” into an impressively stirring, banjo-driven Americana anthem, while Jackson Browne’s voice rang out like a liberty bell on a profoundly moving “American Skin (41 Shots).” Bruce himself was caught on camera mouthing “Beautiful!” during Emmylou Harris’ gossamer rendering of “Your Hometown”; Kenny Chesney, meanwhile, provided one of the night’s best, most unexpected performances with his heartbreaking acoustic adaptation of “One Step Up.” “Tougher Than The Rest” got a wonderfully tender new-country makeover via Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, while Sting proved surprisingly ebullient on a Gospel-driven “Lonesome Day.”

Watch Kenny on the red carpet talk about the song “One Step Up” and what it means to him:

Kenny was also interviewed at rehearsal for the event. Watch it here.

Tagged in Charitable Causes, Related Artists


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