Babyface and pop mega-star Ariana Grande interwove their voices in a beautifully moving tribute to Stevie Wonder at last night’s CBS Special “Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life — An All-Star Grammy Salute.” With Babyface strumming soulful acoustic guitar and Grande showcasing her stadium-sized vocal prowess, the two covered Wonder’s 1970 loving classic “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”
While the original number boasts a massive sound, the briefly scaled-back opening of Babyface and Grande’s cover gave us a new peek at just how strong a composition Wonder created back when he was but 20 years of age. Had the duo’s tribute continued at that mellow pace it’s safe to say nobody would have minded–but who can resist the awesome power of that original arrangement? Roughly 90 seconds into Grande and Babyface’s performance their phenomenal house band joins in for what becomes a joyful victory lap through perfect work of one of R&B’s best. The sitar and backing chorus form a launchpad for Grande’s voice, and the 21-year-old shows just how seriously funky she can get. When she and Babyface harmonize it’s pure aural bliss for anyone listening–including Stevie himself, who can be seen grooving back and forth to the tribute in multiple cutaway shots. Watch the full performance below and check out Okayplayer’s roundup of the Ed Sheeran, Beyonce, Gary Clark Jr. and more performing for the love of Wonder right here.