Joined on stage by percussionist and longtime Prince collaborator Sheila E., along with FKA twigs, the R&B artist sang “Little Red Corvette,” “When Doves Cry,” and “Kiss.” Twigs later joined in on the performance, yet, somewhat perplexingly, didn’t sing, and instead stuck to pole dancing. But apparently that was twigs’ decision:
“As far as [FKA] twigs, she didn’t want to sing,” Sheila said in the press room after the set. “First she wanted to and then she didn’t want to when we ran through it because she didn’t have a pack and ears, so she couldn’t hear, and would rather have danced, which is what we asked her as well, and she chose not to.”
twigs, meanwhile, seemed to have a slightly different take on whether she was asked to sing:
of course i wanted to sing at the grammys. i wasn’t asked this time but hopefully in the future. none the less what an honour. congratulations to all winners x
— FKA twigs (@FKAtwigs) January 27, 2020
During “Kiss,” Usher altered the original lyrics slightly, singing, “You don’t have to watch Insecure,” instead of Prince’s version that mentioned Dynasty (in later years he used Sex and the City).
The set was just a taste of the full-scale tribute the Grammys have scheduled for the Purple One following this year’s ceremony. Let’s Go Crazy: A Grammys Tribute to Prince will feature Beck, Common, Gary Clark Jr., St. Vincent, Earth, Wind & Fire, Foo Fighters, H.E.R., Juanes, Alicia Keys, John Legend, and more. The show will air later in 2020.
This isn’t the first time Usher has covered Prince in concert. Following Prince’s death in 2016, Usher sang “1999” and “I Would Die 4 U” at Coachella during Major Lazer’s set.