In the Grammy Awards collaboration between Corinne Bailey Rae, John Legend and John Mayer, you could almost see a struggling music industry beg: ‘‘please don’t give up on us.’’ The showcase was clearly designed to get Baby Boomers who can’t remember the last time they set foot in a music store interested in someone new. ...
Grammy legend Stevie Wonder was employed to offer an endorsement and made that purpose quite explicit. To anyone who believes that there aren’t any good new singer-songwriters around, ‘‘I, Stevie Wonder, say think again.’’
‘‘I love all three of these fresh, powerful and uniquely talented individuals,’’ he said.
Rae, a Best New Artist nominee, sat and quietly picked at an acoustic guitar as she sang ‘‘Like a Star.’’ Legend won last year’s best new artist award, and he sat at the piano and offered an impassioned version of his anti-war song ‘‘Coming Home.’’ Mayer performed ‘‘Gravity’’ and accompanied himself on bluesy guitar.
A minute or two later, Mayer won a Grammy for best pop vocal album. The swooning women who gave Jessica Simpson’s special friend his Grammy underscored another aspect of his appeal.
Best yet for the gray-haired viewers at home, all of this was done before 8 p.m. Chicago time — well before bedtime.