Songwriter Ed Sheeran performs at “Play It Forward: A Celebration of Music’s Evolution and Influencers” at the Grammy Foundation’s 15th Annual Music Preservation Project, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Elton John still fills stadiums worldwide on his own, but he’ll share the spotlight with a dozen other musicians at Sunday’s Grammy Awards.
The [auth] 65-year-old entertainer rehearsed Saturday at Staples Center alongside young Grammy nominees Mumford & Sons, Zac Brown, Ed Sheeran and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes.
John prepared for two performances: a rousing rendition of the Band’s “The Weight” that also featured T. Bone Burnett and Mavis Staples, and a duet of Sheeran’s single “The A Team.”
“The fun of it for me is playing with other people,” said John, wearing a navy Adidas tracksuit and his trademark red shades.
He also loves the Band’s classic American sound.
“You’ve got a lot of British people up there playing American music, because that’s what we love,” he said of the Levon Helm tribute, which John dedicated to “the teachers and students of Sandy Hook Elementary School, whose songs ended too soon.”
The Grammy Awards honor all kinds of music, but John said, “It should be more of a potpourri than it is.”
“It’s a bit ageist,” he added.
“You’re lucky it’s ageist!” joked Grammy Awards executive producer Ken Ehrlich.
“T. Bone and I are the oldest people to play the Grammys,” John said. “And we’re only 30.”