Feature Focus

2013-02-07T00:00:00Z Feature Focus nwitimes.com
February 07, 2013 12:00 am

Elton John, Mumford & Sons to pay tribute to Helm

Elton John and Mumford & Sons will hit the Grammys stage to pay tribute to Levon Helm.

The Recording Academy announced Wednesday that T Bone Burnett, Mavis Staples, Zac Brown and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes will also perform "The Weight" at Sunday's awards ceremony in Los Angeles.

"Can you think of a song that fits (more)?" said Ken Ehrlich, producer of the Grammy Awards. "Philosophically it fits the moment."

Helm was the drummer and singer for The Band. He died of complications from cancer last year at age 71.

The Band's 1968 debut, "Music From Big Pink," and its follow-up, "The Band," remain landmark albums of the era, and songs such as "The Weight" and "Cripple Creek" have become rock standards. Early on, The Band backed Bob Dylan on his sensational and controversial electric tours of 1965-66 and collaborated with him on the legendary "The Basement Tapes."

Ehrlich said the lineup of performers is a representation of Helm's diverse sound. They'll sing "The Weight" when the show has its in memoriam tribute, which honors musicians who died last year.

"Generationally it's very mixed, and genre-wise it's certainly mixed, and ... that's what (Helm) was all about," Ehrlich said. "He was about old and young, country and pop. He was this incredibly eclectic artist."

The 55th annual Grammy Awards will air live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on CBS. - AP

Walters hopes to return to 'The View' in 3 weeks 

Barbara Walters isn't "scratching too much" from chickenpox, but she says she won't be back at "The View" for three more weeks. Walters phoned into the ABC talk show Wednesday. Calling from her home, she reported that she's weak but not in any pain. She was hospitalized on Jan. 19 after fainting and cutting her head at a party in Washington. The 83-year-old has said she had the chickenpox and a temperature at the time, but didn't realize it. She suffered a concussion and got six stitches. She was released 10 days later. She announced Wednesday: "I'm not itching away." Then she marveled that the best remedy for itching is an age-old one, saying: "We have Facebook, Twitter and calamine lotion." AP

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