With a guest-filled medley, Stevie Wonder brings the 2023 Grammy Awards back to Motown.

With a guest-filled medley, Stevie Wonder brings the 2023 Grammy Awards back to Motown.

Stevie Wonder took careful to honour those who paved the way on Sunday night while acknowledging that the 2023 Grammy Awards may have been the biggest event of the year for the biggest releases from the previous year (Feb. 5).

As Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson were introduced as the 2023 MusiCares Persons of the Year, Stevie Wonder erupted into a rousing, Motown-inspired medley. Wonder opened the show with The Temptations’ “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” giving the classic tune a smooth rendition while being supported by a full four-man ensemble providing background vocals.

The legendary figure then came to the conclusion that allowing Robinson to perform the song on stage would be the finest possible way to honour him. As he duetted with Wonder to his soulful classic, “Tears of a Clown,” Robinson brought the audience to its feet.

Wonder welcomed country singer Chris Stapleton to the stage for a duet to his own funk-driven classic “Higher Ground” to cap off his tour of Motown. The duet eventually turned into a guitar and keyboard battle, with Stapleton holding his own on stage with the icon as they traded lyrics.

The first musicians to receive the MusiCares Person of the Year award in the same year were Robinson and Gordy. “In my life, I’ve been privileged enough to earn a few honours, but this one is truly the most precious to me because I’m accepting this award alongside my very closest friend in the world,” Robinson said during his speech at the annual gala on Saturday (Feb. 4). I never imagined it would be feasible for someone like me from my upbringing. But he adopted me as his own.

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