Entertainment behind the scenes
This project has Grammy bait written all over it. The indefatigable Tony Bennett, 83, is teaming up with the equally irrepressible Stevie Wonder, 59, to record an album of duets, Bennett’s Columbia Records label said Tuesday. A rep had no further information about a release date, song selection or album title, and an email to Wonder’s spokeswoman was not immediately answered.
Wonder previously sang on a pair of Bennett all-star recordings, “Playin’ With My Friends: Bennett Sings the Blues” (2001) and “Duets: An American Classic” (2006). Their reworking of Wonder’s “For Once In My Life,” on the latter release, earned them the Grammy for pop vocal collaboration in 2007 (see photo).
Bennett has won 14 Grammys — though he will tell you he has 15 because he includes his honorary lifetime achievement award. Wonder has won 22. Grammy voters love it when famous stars team up for albums. Witness this year’s big winner, the “Raising Sand” album from Robert Plant and Allison Krauss. In the not-too-distant past, they also showered statuettes on all-star albums headlined by the likes of Santana and Ray Charles.
You’ve heard them at the Obama campaign rallies and speeches for months, and now all those Stevie Wonder, Sheryl Crow, John Mayer and Los Lonely Boys songs that warm up the Democratic Party crowds have been put together on one album.
Billed as the first-ever presidential campaign compilation, the 18-song disc “Yes We Can: Voices of a Grassroots Movement” also includes excerpts from speeches given by Barack Obama and goes on sale exclusively on the campaign’s official Web site on Friday.