Dressed in black, with Keys on the keyboard and Raitt with her guitar, they paid tribute to James who passed away last month at the age of 73. Before the performance, Keys paid a verbal tribute to another one of her idols, Whitney Houston, who passed away the night before by saying, “As we were reminded just yesterday, when a truly great artist leaves us, their legacy lives on.”
At the end of the performance, the two said, “We love you, Etta! We love you, Whitney! We’ll never forget you.”
James passed away from leukemia and associated complications on January 20th. The Grammys would likely have spent more time on honoring her, had Houston not passed away mere hours before the show.