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Serial hit maker Beverley Knight will take to the stage later this month to perform the songs of Stevie Wonder as part of BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night. Meanwhile, multi Grammy-winning US soul star Peabo Bryson will also grace the Palladium stage to pay homage to Barry White. Both shows are being recorded for broadcast in January 2019.
With just a few weeks to go before these incredible concerts, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite Barry and Stevie tracks which you might just get to hear on the night.
You can’t really start a Stevie Wonder-themed playlist without Superstition. Arguably Stevie’s most famous song, it is also one of the most popular funk and soul tunes of all time. This is sure to bring the house down under Beverley’s vocal delivery.
Never, Never Gonna Give You Up
With its powerful musical introduction, Never, Never Gonna Give You Up is the perfect live track to kick-start a celebration of Barry White’s most iconic numbers. Expect sexy pillow talk and trademark “oh babys”.
We Can Work It Out
The Beatles classic was first recorded by Stevie Wonder in 1970, and he went on to perform it for Sir Paul McCartney on a couple of occasions – including when McCartney was given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys in 1990. The song’s soulful and up-tempo rhythm would feel right at home with Beverley’s RnB vibes.
I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby
The way Barry White’s track gets higher and higher and builds to its, ahem, climax is the perfect number to showcase Peabo’s impressive vocal range. First released in 1973, the song was also a No.1 hit on the US RnB chart for two weeks.
Isn’t She Lovely?
Written in 1976 to celebrate the birth of his daughter, this song is an iconic number from Stevie Wonder’s heyday as a Motown icon.
You’re The First, My Last, My Everything
Released in 1974, this hit song reached No.1 on the US RnB charts, No.1 in the U.K., and No.2 on the US Hot 100. It got a resurgence of popularity through its use in Ally McBeal – when Peter McNicol’s character John Cage would mentally play the track whenever he needed to concentrate.
I Just Called to Say I Love You
Stevie Wonder’s biggest ever hit, I Just Called to Say I Love You was released in 1984 and topped the charts in a massive 19 countries. It also won both the Grammy and the Oscar for Best Song having been written for the film The Woman in Red. Cue Beverley Knight in a red dress performing this classic at the Palladium – surely?!
Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe
One of only two songs where Barry reached No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, this track is sure to set the night alight if Peabo performs the track this month.
Taken from Stevie’s iconic 1973 album Innervisions (released the same year Beverley Knight was born), Wonder wrote and recorded the song in a three-hour burst of creativity. “I would like to believe in reincarnation,” he later told the The New York Times when talking about the song. “I would like to believe that there is another life. I think that sometimes your consciousness can happen on this earth a second time around.”
I’ve Got So Much Love to Give
The instrumental stylings of this track make it the perfect fit for the 24-piece orchestra that will back Peabo on the night at the Palladium. Barry’s romantic lyrics and unique orchestra sound paved the way in helping develop his sexual persona for subsequent recording and it’s a must-hear for many fans. Plus, there’s that sax.
Friday Night is Music Night takes place at the London Palladium on the below dates. Both shows are being recorded for a January 2019 broadcast on BBC Radio 2:
21 November 2018 – Friday Night is Music Night celebrates Barry White with Peabo Bryson
22 November 2018 – Friday Night is Music Night celebrates Stevie Wonder with Beverley Kight
Tickets are on sale now. Get yours via Ticketmaster.co.uk