Stevie Wonder united with a cappella group Pentatonix at the 2016 Grammy Awards to pay tribute to late Earth, Wind & Fire member Maurice White, who died earlier this month at age 74. The vocal quintet delivered their trademark blend of harmonies and beatboxing on Earth, Wind & Fire’s 1975 track “That’s the Way of the World,” as Wonder sang the soulful lead.
“May you rest in eternal bliss and peace,” Wonder said in the introduction dedication to White. The performers then handed out the award for Song of the Year, which went to Ed Sheeran for “Thinking Out Loud.”
The Roots’ drummer/producer, Questlove, penned a heartfelt dedication to White on Instagram. “Maurice was our cheerleader,” he wrote. “I just really wanna thank him and than all the members of #EWF shining that light brighter. You know how hard it is to present Afrocentric Jazz & spiritual positivity in the face of what we had to deal with in the [Seventies]? When times were hard sometimes the only release you had was music [and] if it wasn’t Stevie, you were reaching for your #EarthWindAndFire albums.”
Wonder appeared Sunday, February 14th at the MusiCares Person of the Year event honoring Lionel Richie, where he performed a rendition of “Three Times a Lady.”