It’s only fitting that on the occasion of the late Elvis Presley‘s birthday (January 8th, 1935), NBC revealed the impressive line-up of talent set to honor the “King of Rock n’ Roll” during next month’s Elvis All-Star Tribute, set to air on Sunday, February 17, from 9 -11 p.m. ET.
NBC’s tribute celebrates the 50 year anniversary of Elvis’ 1968 Comeback Special, which is a personal favorite. Not only does he look amazing in a black leather jumpsuit (*swoon*), viewers get to see a more candid and fun-loving Elvis. He has fun on that small square stage, bantering with the band between songs, and closing the show with a poignant, and optimistic message, “If I Can Dream.”
The two-hour program will be hosted by Shelton and pay tribute to Elvis Presley’s “’68 Comeback Special,” recreating the iconic night with musical performances, a showcase of rare footage and interviews with Priscilla Presley and Steve Binder, the director of the original special, plus a special appearance from Lisa Marie Presley.
Musical performances will include:
- “Trouble”/”Guitar Man” – Blake Shelton
- “Hound Dog” – Shawn Mendes
- “Burning Love” – Keith Urban
- “Baby, What You Want Me to Do” – Keith Urban & Post Malone
- “Jailhouse Rock” – John Fogerty
- “Can’t Help Falling in Love” – Ed Sheeran
- “Always on My Mind” – Kelsea Ballerini
- “Heartbreak Hotel” – Jennifer Lopez
- “One Night” – Darius Rucker
- “Suspicious Minds” – Blake Shelton
- “Love Me Tender” – Alessia Cara
- “Memories” – Mac Davis
- “A Little Less Conversation” – John Legend
- “Are You Lonesome Tonight” – Little Big Town
- “Blue Suede Shoes” – Adam Lambert
- “Love Me” – Pistol Annies
- Hits Medley (“That’s All Right,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Blue Suede Shoes”) – Mac Davis, Post Malone, Little Big Town, Darius Rucker & Blake Shelton
- Gospel Medley (“How Great Thou Art,” “He Touched Me,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone” – Carrie Underwood & Yolanda Adams
- “Little Sister” – Dierks Bentley
- “It’s Now or Never” – Josh Groban
- “If I Can Dream” – Elvis Presley, Carrie Underwood, Shawn Mendes, Post Malone, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton
What’s so cool about Elvis – he’s loved and respected by a variety of musicians in numerous genres. NBC’s roster reflects “The King’s” influence, with a line-up that includes: Yolanda Adams, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Alessia Cara, Mac Davis, John Fogerty, Josh Groban, Adam Lambert, John Legend, Little Big Town, Jennifer Lopez, Post Malone, Shawn Mendes, Pistol Annies, Darius Rucker, Ed Sheeran, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban.
What a spectacular line-up! NBC’s done a great job of mixing up the talent so fans of all ages and musical genres remain equally entertained: country stars, pop powerhouses, gospel, hip-hop and soem Latin flow.
I hope everyone does “The King” justice, while still putting their personal spin on the song. Elvis has one of the best voices of all time so walking his “Blue Suede Shoes” won’t be easy (though we’re sure Adam Lambert will nail the iconic number. I’m also thrilled to see Blake Shelton cover one of my favorite songs – “Suspicious Minds” and I’m sure his charm and humor will make him a fun host for this tribute.
But wait, there’s more!
On February 15th – two days before the special airs – the companion album “The Best of the ’68 Comeback Special” will be released by Sony Music Entertainment’s RCA/Legacy Recordings. Here’s a look at what the album contains:
An ideal set for longtime Elvis fans and newcomers, “The Best of the ’68 Comeback Special” comprises the Elvis recordings and performances that inspired the upcoming tribute and showcases a new version of the legendary closing number, “If I Can Dream,” as heard in the new special — featuring Elvis’ original vocals alongside new performances by Carrie Underwood, Shawn Mendes, Post Malone, Darius Rucker and Blake Shelton. The album features 15 remastered Elvis performances from the “stand-up” and “sit-down” shows filmed for the ’68 broadcast, plus three original studio recordings to represent songs that appear in the new special.
Elvis shook us all up then, so it is no surprise his work continues getting remastered, remixed and redone for a new generation: no matter how much time passes, “The King” lives on through his work.