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The stars are aligning for a special Elvis Presley tribute show to be broadcast on what would have been the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s 84th birthday.
“Elvis All-Star Tribute” will air on February 17 on NBC and will feature a whole host of performers, old and young, taking on the King’s classics. Guests include Ed Sheeran, Post Malone, Alessia Cara, Shawn Mendes, Adam Lambert, Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood, and Blake Shelton, who hosts the two-hour event.
The show, which was recorded in front of an invited audience last October, is made to look and feel like the Elvis “’68 Comeback Special”, with its “boxing ring without ropes” stage and a vintage ’60s-style television.
Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich produced the special, and spoke to Variety about his process of matching the singers to the right songs. “I was just listening to John Legend one day and thought he’d be perfect for ‘A Little Less Conversation’,” he explained.
“Keith Urban personally requested Post Malone for a duet on ‘Baby What You Want Me to Do’, a section of the show which recalls the part when Elvis and his band were just casually playing together onstage. When I asked Post Malone about performing it, he said, ‘Oh, yeah, the Jimmy Reed song.'”
The show will also see Shawn Mendes take on “Hound Dog”, Adam Lambert will slip on some blue suede shoes for his performance of the iconic track, and Jennifer Lopez will sing “Heartbreak Hotel” against a background of ELVIS spelled out in neon lights.
Interviews with Priscilla Presley and original ’68 special director Steve Binder — as well as an appearance by Lisa Marie Presley — will also feature in the special.
Along with the special, an album called The Best of the ’68 Comeback Special will be released on February 15, It’ll include 15 Presley performances from the ’68 broadcast, three studio recordings of songs that appear in the special, and a new version of “If I Can Dream,” feature Elvis’ original vocals plus those of Carrie, Blake, Darius, Post Malone and Shawn Mendes.
“Elvis All-Star Tribute” airs February 17 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).