As always, the “Idol Gives Back” episode of America’s most popular show was filled with emotional moments, genuine sentiment and water-cooler-worthy performances. But once the smoke cleared and the charity work had been nobly performed, it was clear that the evening’s highlight revolved around a Stairway to Heaven.
Mary J. Blige and her all-star band of Travis Barker, Orianthi and Steve Vai — along with “Idol” judge Randy Jackson laying down bass guitar — performed a touching rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” It was an epic moment in a tender night of compassion, philanthropy and memorable performances.
Accompanied by the same band that supported her on a recent career-makeover effort in the recording studio, Blige’s cover appeared on the international re-release of her album Stronger With Each Tear, which came out in March.
“I am a Led Zeppelin fan,” Blige told MTV News recently. “I’m not going to say I’ve been to their concerts, but I’ve listened to their music since I was a child, and it’s always moved me, especially ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ ”
She certainly moved the audience on Wednesday night (April 21) — and got away with something even Wayne Campbell could not. “Heaven” was composed by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant for the band’s classic fourth album — dubbed Led Zeppelin IV by their fans — and in the ’70s ranked as the single most-requested song on FM radio stations. Recorded in 1970, “Stairway” has gone on to become one of the all-time great rock anthems.
Other stars illuminating the evening’s “Idol Gives Back” festivities included Jennifer Garner, Queen Latifah, Elton John, the Black Eyed Peas and the president himself, Barack Obama. According to an announcement made by Simon Cowell during the show, the evening’s festivities had raised over $15 million for charity.
What did you think of Mary’s Zeppelin cover? Let us know in the comments below!
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