Fresh off her heart-felt tribute performance to Lionel Richie, moving him to tears with “Hello” almost two weeks ago at the 58th Grammy Awards, Demi Lovato has honored another legendary musican, the late Raymond Charles Robinson, professionally known as Ray Charles.
The “Confident” singer was invited to perform at the latest installment of In Performance at the White House, a PBS series celebrating classic American artists. Taking the stage Wednesday night, Demi Lovato started with a short introduction highlighting Charles’ love for country music.
“His friend Willie Nelson said that Ray Charles did more for country music than any other living human being, and I second that emotion,” she said, before launching into Charles’ hit “You Don’t Know Me.” It came as no surprise that Demi nailed the heartache and emotion of the song, giving it a sultry and spot-on tribute.
Later in the evening, Demi joined The Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, Andra Day, and Yolanda Adams for a soulful rendition of “Heaven Help Us All.”
Even the Obamas were way into it. So stirring was Demi’s performance along with her co-performers, that although he’d previously said he wouldn’t be showing off his vocals this time, it seems the 54-year-old Obama couldn’t help himself as he passionately sung along to the late musician’s hit ‘What’d I Say’ with his wife Michelle Obama as well as Usher, Demi Lovato and The Band Perry.
Ray Charles, who lost his sight as a child, died in June 2004.