Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammys galas have always brought music icons and young stars all together to perform and celebrate.
Considering this, it’s no surprise that the premiere of a new documentary about the influential record executive’s career ended with a concert at Radio City Music Hall, with names like Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kenny G, Carly Simon, Dionne Warwick or Jennifer Hudson checking in.
Wednesday’s event opened the Tribeca Film Festival and offered a unique representation from Aretha Franklin.
The Queen of Soul announced in February that this would be her last year performing in concerts, so her presence at the gala was one that her fans surely appreciated.
Davis helped revive her career in the early 1980s, so Aretha felt that she owes him this representation. The 75-year-old singer closed the night with hits like “You Make Me Feel Like,” “A Natural Woman” and “Freeway of Love.”
The post-screening concert lasted about an hour and a half and had other memorable moments as well. Carly Simon was joined by schoolchildren to help her sing Itsy Bitsy Spider; Earth, Wind & Fire, while her solo on The Way You Move had a surprise guest – jazz musician Kenny G.
Jennifer Hudson paid a sweet tribute to both Leonard Cohen, with “Hallelujah,” and Whitney Houston, with songs including “I’m Every Woman” and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” The 35-years old singer managed to make the entire crowd stand on its feet when she shared a dance with Davis, in one lovable moment.
Clive Davis, 85 years-old, has a five-decade career as a label executive and helped Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen, Simon & Garfunkel, Billy Joel, Patti Smith, Maroon 5, Alicia Keys, Sean “Puffy” Combs, and even Milli Vanilli make a name for themselves in the music industry.