Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr. Honor Stephen Sondheim at 2022 Grammys - Rolling Stone
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Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr. Honor Stephen Sondheim in Moving Grammys Tribute

Ben Platt and Rachel Zegler give rousing renditions for In Memoriam performance at Grammys that featured a tribute to Taylor Hawkins

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 03: (L-R) Rachel Zegler, Cynthia Erivo, and Leslie Odom Jr. perform onstage during the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 03: (L-R) Rachel Zegler, Cynthia Erivo, and Leslie Odom Jr. perform onstage during the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

(L-R) Rachel Zegler, Cynthia Erivo, and Leslie Odom Jr. perform onstage during the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Ben Platt, and Rachel Zegler joined forces for a rousing tribute to Stephen Sondheim during the 2022 Grammy awards ceremony on Sunday. The iconic Broadway composer and lyricist died on Nov. 26 at age 91 and led the In Memoriam segment of the Grammys.

The segment opened with a tribute to Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who died last month at the age of 50. The tribute blended interviews and backstage home movies with live footage, ending in an audience singalong of the group’s “My Hero.”

For the live portion, the singers’ performance spanned Sondheim’s famous works. Platt opened with “Not a Day Goes By” from 1981’s Merrily We Roll Along before Erivo and Odom Jr. took the stage for “Send in the Clowns” from 1973’s A Little Night Music.

A number of music industry artists who died in the past year were showcased during the tribute, including Meat Loaf, Jim Steinmann, Biz Markie, Betty Davis, Charlie Watts, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Young Dolph, Mark Lanegan, Vicente Fernandez, and DMX.

Zegler, who stars as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s new film adaptation of West Side Story that reprises the 1957 Sondheim/Leonard Bernstein song score, joined Erivo and Odom Jr for “Somewhere (There’s a Place for Us)” from West Side Story. (Erivo had performed “Somewhere” and “The Miller’s Son” at the Kennedy Center in 2017 and during the 2019 Sondheim Awards Gala respectively.) By the end of the performance, all four singers gathered center stage for a glorious rendition of “Somewhere” befitting the musical titan.

It was a fitting tribute from artists who have recently spotlighted Sondheim’s deep catalog. Odom (who is nominated for two Grammys this year: Best Song Written for Visual Media for “Speak Now” and Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media for One Night in Miami) previously teamed up with Renée Fleming to record Into the Woods‘ “Children Will Listen.” Platt (who is up for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media for Dear Evan Hansen) sang “It Takes Two” from Into the Woods during the benefit livestream concert in 2020, Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration.

Over Sondheim’s illustrious career, he won a number of Grammys, including Song of the Year at 1976 Grammy Awards for “Send in the Clowns.” The song he originally penned for the 1973 musical A Little Night Music became a hit following recordings by Frank Sinatra and Judy Collins, whose version won the award. A Grammy Trustees Award recipient, Sondheim also won Grammys for his work on Company, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods, and Passion.

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