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Christina does James Brown on Grammies

February 9th, 2008 · 7 Comments · Music

did you see Christina Aguilera deliver the James Brown tribute at the Grammies?  I assume you did.  Here’s a little gift 4 u if not.


Here’s my full RockPeaks review on the matter:


I dunno what you think of a 20-something white chick doing the music industry’s tribute to The Godfather of fuckin music  —  but maybe the biz knew who could bring it.

Seriously check out the last note/phrase/word “nothing” (you can’t miss it), but then crucially (and to my point that she’s the greatest living singer) after the climactic “nothing” how she’s still got the breath and strength to deliver the final phrase brilliantly (and soulfully!) within the same breath.  It’s superhuman. and she’s just RIDING it.  And doing it in front of the most musically adept and powerful humans on the planet.
i don’t remember a Grammy performance like this — falling to her knees and delivering the climax from the ground!?  W
ell, okay.  But that was Madonna, and it was MTV, and it was lip synched.
Even check the swaggering stroll out as it opens.  (before it even happened, she knew.)
And right into the First line!! — how she just Throws the microphone aside after it!!  just, paging heaven!

And the way she gets the man’s growl in it — sounding positively male on some notes  — it’s all about James Brown, and even the girlish scream as she drops to her knees is a tribute to his high-pitched squeals – you see the intention as she holds the mic tight but just to the side.

And seriously, she has the best mic control I have Ever seen/heard.  I never saw Sam Cooke, and she’s equal to him and Aretha & Company.
(you can’t really tell how good mic control is unless you see how they use it.  in the studio they fix it.  live is the only truth.) A
nd the way she’s just bouncing when she drops to her knees, just fucking Ripping it!  Like, she can’t even do this standing up. and you can see how the knee-drop was not rehearsed because the cameraman doesn’t keep up with it and the director doesn’t have the move cued.
WHAT is she made of?
Like … how can that much sound come out of that body?
And that much soul out of whatever white Irish-Equadorian genes she’s got?
And this is just one of 10,000 amazing deliveries she’s made.
She Is Aretha  . . .  in her prime.  
and then at the end, so sharp, Jamie Fox (Oscar winner for channeling Ray Charles) with that look on his face! and mouthing, “dat’s da shit”  🙂
Also note, the moment the song’s over and they cut to the crowd, it’s already a standing ovation to the back of the house.  it’s so NOT an “oh, i guess i better stand up,” but a true ovation!
and you can actually hear (when u listen to it a hundred times) the audience screaming and cheering during the performance. i saw her live a few times at MTV events (Divas, VH1) and she just blew all the other famous singers away every time, not to mention the well-eared audiences. i suggest clicking “watch again” several times!  And play it LOUD.  (as they open The Last Waltz 🙂 )

p.s.  — here’s the lyrics if ya missed anything 

Artist: James Brown as interpreted by Christina Aguilera
Song:  It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World

This is a man’s world,
It is a man’s world
But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl.

See, man made the cars, to take us over the road,
Man made the trains to carry heavy loads,
Man made electric light to take us out of the dark,
Man made the boat for the water, like Noah made the ark.

This is a man’s, mans, man’s world
But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl.

Man thinks about, a little baby girl, and baby boys,
Man makes then happy ’cause man makes them toys,
This is a man’s, mans, man’s world,
But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl.

He’s lost in the wilderness
He’s lost in the bitterness

This is a man’s man’s man’s world
But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl.


And if you liked this, check out her doing “Makes Me Wanna Get Down And Pray” 😉



For more Adventures in Music — you may want to check out the (Route) 66 Best live performances ever captured on film.

Or take the New Orleans Jazz Fest ride.

Or how The Grateful Dead came to play my 30th birthday.

Or the night Dylan showed up at Springsteen’s show at Shea Stadium in New York.

Or Paul Simon doing Graceland in Hyde Park in London.

Or Furthur came back and reprised the Dead at Madison Square Garden.

Or when the Dead, Janis, The Band and others took the Festival Express train trip across Canada.

Or the night I was hanging with Dr. John’s band in Toronto.

Or here’s the day I finally “got” Bob Dylan

Or the night we all lost John Lennon



by Brian Hassett


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7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 philwagner // Feb 10, 2008 at 1:20 AM

    This was the most unbelievable perfomrance at the Grammy’s. I was there. I saw the re-broadcast and had it on the DVR for a year. It was unreal. She absolutely stole the show with this performance! It starts with a great song and ends with a great talent. Mesmerising in a word. Christina rocks! Check out her “Back to Basics” album for more great performances. I’m going to the Grammy’s tomorrow and can’t wait until Amy Winehouse plays by remote or she may even show up. Aretha and Mary J should rock the house as well.

  • 2 Brian // Feb 10, 2008 at 1:34 AM

    Thanks for that, homes! That made me go check it again and man i got the same old shivers! Just about scary. That last phrase . . . !

  • 3 philwagner // Feb 10, 2008 at 1:16 PM

    The performance was incredible. I played it 100 times afterwards. It was GREAT! How cool that you really got off on it. Not too difficult, as it was truly great! By the way, the Christina/Brown number was better on TV than live. But probably because the first time we saw it live, we were kinda in disbelief. We didn’t know what hit us. In any event, Christina is true talent. I put her where Madonna was circa 1985. Now look at her, circa 2008, 100 or more million records and $1B later.

  • 4 philwagner // Feb 10, 2008 at 1:25 PM

    The other sizzling hot one from the 07 Grammy’s was Gnarls Barkley ‘Crazy’. It was amazing live. One of the best performances ever seen in my life. I was in tears, it was so powerful. And this is a from a grown man with a very thick skin! Danger Mouse and C Lo came out with a slowed down, stripped down version with a choir. This was all done in an Aviator theme. CL and DM were dressed as commercial pilots and the choir were dressed in avator garb. Amazing in a word.

    check it out:

    Lets’s see what tonights Grammy’s (08) hold in the excitement of Hollywoodland. I’ll be there and will report back.

  • 5 philwagner // Feb 11, 2008 at 11:06 PM

    Bad news. 08 Grammy’s weren’t as good as 07. However, there were a few standouts – Alicia and Sinatra! Tina and Beyonce! Jimmy Jam and the Time with Rhianna!

    Vince Gill’s comment was the best. “I just got a Grammy from a Beatle, Kanye did you ever get that?”

    Other than that a bunch of either really old or really dead people. Kinda morbid. I’ll let you know more when I see the show on my DVR.

  • 6 philwagner // Feb 11, 2008 at 11:07 PM

    Also, Amy Winehouse was GREAT! GREAT! GREAT!

  • 7 Sandy Roberts // Jul 8, 2013 at 2:01 AM

    What a quality performance this is! Christina does James Brown! Who’d a thunk it. Thanks for getting this out there.

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