Luciano Pavarotti And James Brown Teamed Up For Performance That Continues To Delight Audiences Everywhere
Oct 17, 2020 by apost team
James Brown and Luciano Pavarotti are both undeniably legends. Yet, all would admit that they make an unlikely pair. Brown established himself as a legend for grooving with the funkiest of soul beats. Meanwhile, Pavarotti spent most of his professional time in a tuxedo singing opera. However, many say that the mark of a true artistic genius is the ability to perform in any circumstances and with any collaborator. Thus, bringing these two giants together can only result in something magical. This is what happens when high-brow opera meets mid-town funk. The two performed together in Modena, Italy in 2002 for the opera singer's series Pavarotti & Friends, which ran from 1992 to 2003.
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This concert, which took place almost two decades ago, is still as jaw-dropping as it was the day it aired. Titled Pavarotti and Friends, it was a night that brought countless superstars together. Many of these superstars were from the '60s and '70s. In other words, this show represented the best of the best from the greatest decades of music that the world has ever seen.
But what tune would befit these two legends? A classical piece of Italian opera, befitting the booming vocals of the opera master himself? Or maybe a funky organ tune like one that has leaked through the hollowed doors of so many Detroit churches? The answer is certainly more James than Luciano.
However, Pavarotti proved that his vocal chops have weight regardless of the song. These two took to the stage to perform 1966 classic It's a Man's Man's Man's World.
This special concert took place back in May of 2002. As would be expected by the name, this show took place on Pavarotti's turf in Italy. The Italian giant organized this event at the peak of his stardom to raise money for a charity that is particularly near to his heart. All of the money raised by this event went directly to the Angolan refugees in Zambia. Pavarotti felt a special responsibility towards these people and did whatever he could to get them the funds they needed to find safety and justice.
The King of Soul wasn't the only big name in attendance. Joining them on stage were the like of Sting, Grace Jones, Bono, Lou Reed, and Andrea Bocelli. The entire concert is an utter work of art. However, this particular song stands out among the sea of greatness.
Although the original song is somewhat frantic, the measured and forceful vocals of Pavarotti slow the entire message down and double its impact. Both singers are impressive, but the stalwart approach of the opera master is staggering.
Bolstering the performance is an entire orchestra which only adds to the splendor of the night. As the camera pans over the crowd, one would be forgiven for thinking everyone in western Europe had attended. As a once in a lifetime moment, who could blame them? With over 24 million views on Youtube, the impact of this concert is still far from over with thousands more seeing it everyday.
Music is a unique art form in that it allows people from wholly different backgrounds to come together and share their art. Often, the greatest duets occur when the most unlikely pairings occur, just like this moment with James Brown and Pavarotti. What's your favorite unlikely duo to cross a musical stage? Talk about it in the comments, and don't forget to pass this article to all of your friends.