Stevie Wonder Performs Stirring Bill Withers Tribute During ‘One World’ Concert

Stevie Wonder performs in "One World" benefit concert. (Credit: Global Citizen/YouTube)
Global Citizen/YouTube

Stevie Wonder turned in a soul-stirring performance Saturday to his late friend Bill Withers, who died on April 3, during the “One World: Together at Home” COVID-19 benefit concert.

As the televised portion of the concert got underway, Wonder was introduced by CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert.

The Grammy-winning singer and songwriter opened by saying, “During hardships like this, we have to lean on each other. My friend, the late Bill Withers, has the perfect song about that and I want us to remember him tonight.”

Wonder then played the piano and sang Withers’ 1972 classic “Lean on Me,” before launching into his own hit “Love’s In Need Of Love Today” from his 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life.

Wonders’ performance was notable in that he recently had serious health problems. Last summer, he announced during a concert that he would undergo a kidney transplant at the end of the year.

“I’m going to have surgery. I’m going to have a kidney transplant in September of this year,” he said at the time.

Wonder’s reps did not immediately respond to Deadline’s request for comment, however, he appeared in fine form during tonight’s performance.

The singer joined a long list of music artists who participated throughout the day in the massive “Together at Home” concert produced by Global Citizen to support frontline health care workers and the World Health Organization.

Curated by Lady Gaga, the concert included virtual performances by Gaga, the Rolling Stones, John Legend and Sam Smith, Burna Boy, Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Lopez, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Andrea Bocelli, and many more.

Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel hosted along with fellow late-night host, Stephen Colbert. The special aired in primetime in the United States on multiple networks, cable channels and streaming services at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

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