While performing in Atlantic City on Saturday, Stevie Wonder honored John McCain with a tribute song upon learning of the senator’s death.
“This song goes out to Sen. John McCain,” Wonder said. “I wanted to see him before he left this planet, but I didn’t see him. I didn’t get the chance. But he grew to know compassion was not about any political party. It was about loving people for just the way they are.”
“God bless his soul,” Wonder added. “Let us send his family love. I send you all my love, all my prayers.” Wonder then went into a cover of Billy Joel‘s “Just the Way You Are.”
McCain died Saturday in Arizona after a long battle with an aggressive form of brain cancer. The Republican lawmaker was 81 years old when he passed away.
Wonder also honored Aretha Franklin during the concert.
“I love you forever, Aretha,” the musician said according to People.
In related news, Travis Scott‘s A&R Sickamore revealed how Wonder ended up on the rapper’s song “Stop Trying To Be God.”
“Travis did Stevie’s kid’s 16th birthday party. The conversation just started from there,” Sickamore said to Rolling Stone. “Stevie came to the studio one day and it was magical man. He came at 11 p.m., 12 p.m. with the harmonica and just played on a bunch of records. That was the one that really stuck. That might have been the peak moment of my A&R career watching that.”