Everything’s coming up Aubrey.
It’s early 1969, and Miles Davis is in transition.
With so many musical geniuses having died prematurely in recent months, you almost feel a bizarre sense of gratitude to find a bona fide pop deity like Stevie Wonder still in full effect and on top of his majestic game. Pop royalty for half a century, Wonder is the undoubted coup of this year’s British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park.
Marvin Pentz Gay Jr’s earliest experiences of singing in public came when he was three, performing as a part of his father’s church choir in Washington DC.
When Earth, Wind & Fire were in their funky late-70s pomp, they put on some of the most theatrical pop shows ever seen. Their silver outfits could have come straight from Star Trek and bassist Verdine White’s favourite party piece was levitating several feet above the stage.
Gifted with a five-octave vocal range, Chicago-born Minnie Riperton was plucked from an a cappella choir to sing with girl-group the Gems, who found little success under their own name but scored work as session backing-vocalists for the Dells, Etta James and Fontella Bass.
It’s the biggest night of the music calendar: today the worlds of rap, pop, country and music will be gathering in Los Angeles to see who wins the top gongs, and to watch the likes of Adele and Rihanna perform. Here’s a list of the major nominees, which we’ll update tonight to reflect the winners
When Earth, Wind & Fire shimmied into the charts and on to British television screens in May 1979 with Boogie Wonderland, they brought to an audience beyond the niche followers of soul a driving rhythm and glitzy glamour that ensured the band a massive and enduring hit.