The Grammys are once again upon us (catch them Monday night at 5 p.m. EST on CBS), and every year, I find myself wishing they would add one more category: Best Performance at a Fundraiser. I hit fundraisers all over the city featuring musicians who lend their talents to help raise money for great causes. There was Aloe Blacc (a fundraising staple) performing on the baseball field at the Los Angeles Dodger Foundation’s Blue Diamond Gala, and Sia giving it her all for Los Angeles’s LGBT Center at their Evening With Women. Oceana’s Concert For Our Oceans brought out stars like Ke$ha, and Lyle Lovett played on a balmy night in honor of the late Farrah Fawcett and her eponymous foundation.
Check out these showstoppers who deserve my unofficial Grammy:
Madonna at Help Haiti Home
It was 1985 all over again when Madonna showed up for ex-husband Sean Penn’s Help Haiti Home bash (held annually the day after the Golden Globes). Penn invited her onstage, and she did a sweet rendition of La Vie En Rose. The event raised about $7 mil for Penn’s J/P Haiti Relief Organization.
Martin Short at the AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Steve Martin
Okay, Martin Short is not a musician. But his performance of “You’ve Been a Friend of Mine” at the American Film Institute’s tribute to his longtime pal, Steve Martin, got everyone in the entire Dolby choked up. (Martin included.) This clip is also worth watching for the light roasting before the song. Laughter and tears. Two great emotions.
Sir Paul McCartney and Beck at PETA’s 35th Anniversary Gala
In October, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) threw itself a sparkly anniversary party. Long-time supporter Sir Paul McCartney pretty much performed a full concert before being joined onstage by Beck for “Drive My Car.” They got everyone from billionaires to busboys on their feet.