Usher, Dave Grohl & More Pay Tribute to Prince on Fourth Anniversary of His Death — Watch
"He was the best," Dave Grohl says of Prince in a video exclusive to PEOPLE — John Legend, Miguel, Common and Sheila E. are among the stars to honor the late music icon
The late music icon Prince is being honored in a big way.
On Tuesday, Let’s Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince will air on CBS at 9 p.m. local time, marking the four-year anniversary of Prince’s death. The star-studded tribute was taped on Jan. 28, just two days after the 62nd annual Grammy Awards. Prince was 57 years old when he died of an opioid overdose in his Paisley Park Studios home outside of Minneapolis in 2016.
The special, hosted by Maya Rudolph, features performances from fellow musicians including John Legend, Usher, H.E.R., Gary Clark Jr., Miguel, Chris Martin, Susanna Hoff, Morris Day and The Time along with Dave Grohl and more. Alicia Keys also makes an appearance. PEOPLE has the exclusive first look at Grohl’s message to Prince.
“I’m an ’80s kid — I grew up with all of his records and as a popular musician, he was the most talented of anybody,” the star, 51, says of Prince.
“I was explaining this to my daughter today as I picked her up from school,” Grohl says. “I was like, ‘He was the best bass player. He was the best guitar player. He was the best drummer. He was the best singer. He was the best dancer.’ He was just the best and you never imagine that a popular musician could be that talented. Usually, you got one person that’s good at one thing; he was good at everything. He was the best. He was the best.”
Opening the show, Rudolph — who also hits the stage to deliver her own performances — pays homage to the late superstar. “Dearly beloved, it is my honor to welcome you to the Grammy Salute to Prince,” host Rudolph, 47, says as the crowd erupts into applause. “Tonight, the Recording Academy celebrates the astounding recording legacy of Prince Rogers Nelson. In his wildly productive time here, Prince created a body of work that will truly outlive us all.”
“This show airing four years to the day when we lost Prince is an expression of love and profound respect,” Rudolph tells the audience in the special. “I have difficulty putting into words my personal feelings for Prince, there are words that don’t exactly cut it for me [like] genius, brilliant, gifted, prolific [and] legendary. They’re all true, but they don’t really get right to that feeling that can only be described to his music.”
Prince’s ex-fiancée, longtime friend and collaborator Sheila E., 62, served as a musical director for the Recording Academy’s concert tribute in honor of the late Grammy-winner.Talking backstage at the 2020 Grammys, she gave some insight on the show’s planning and revealed how Usher’s segment was orchestrated.
“I asked Usher what he wanted to sing,” she told reporters in the press room. “If someone’s gonna do a tribute, you wanna ask them what songs they would like to sing because it has to be personal. You can’t just say, ‘Yeah, just sing this song’ because it doesn’t mean anything to them. I wanted to go through what songs meant something to him lyrically. It’s important for him to dance, to sing and be featured and as an entertainer he does all of the above.”