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Watch Gregory Porter, Sarah Jarosz, And More Cover Marvin Gaye At The Grammys

The virtual ensemble celebrated the 50th anniversary of Gaye’s seminal album, ‘What’s Going On.’

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Marvin-Gaye
Photo: Jim Britt/Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images

Ahead of last night’s 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, a virtual ensemble of nominees performed Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology),” one of the enduring singles off the artist’s seminal, 1971 soul album, What’s Going On.

Taking part in the incredible performance was Sarah Jarosz, who took home the award for Best Americana Album, as well as Gregory Porter, Grace Potter, and Bebel Gilberto. Also participating was Best Traditional R&B Performance winner, Ledisi, and John Beasley, who won for Best Arrangement, Instrument or A Cappella winner.

Rounding out the group was saxophonist Kamasi Washington, Best Gospel Album winner PJ Morton, the Afro Peruvian Jazz Orchestra, Anoushka Shankar, Camilo, Alexandre Desplat, Gustavo Santaolalla, Kierra Sheard, Lupita Infante, Mariachi Sol de Mexico, Mykal Kilgore, Regina Carter, Säje, and Thana Alexa.

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The set, which opened the premiere ceremony, marked the first of many incredible live performances throughout the evening, including those by HAIM, Black Pumas, and Billie Eilish and FINNEAS, who performed their Record of the Year-winning song, “Everything I Wanted.” During the In Memoriam portion, Best Rock Song winner (“Stay High”) Brittany Howard offered a moving performance of Gerry Marsden’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone” accompanied by Coldplay’s Chris Martin. Album of the Year recipient Taylor Swift also delivered a three-song medley of songs from her winning album, Folklore, and its sister release, Evermore.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of What’s Going On – Gaye’s breakthrough album, which offered soulful social commentary about the state of the world, amid the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement. “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” marked the second hit single off the album peaking at No.4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No.1 on the R&B Singles chart. The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002.

What’s Going On, meanwhile, peaked at No. 6 on the US album charts and became a bestseller for Gaye, selling more than two million units in a little over a year. Decades later, the LP is regarded as one of the greatest albums of all-time.

Listen to What’s Going On here.

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