On Sunday night, the main Grammy ceremony had their regular In Memoriam segment along with performances saluting the late George Michael and Prince and a mention of Al Jarreau who had died earlier in the day.
Once over, the annual criticism started of people that had been left out but, this year, there was especially strong comments about leaving out two other icons from performing salutes, Leonard Cohen and Merle Haggard. The program could have easily given time to both of them if they had just done away with the self-promoting Bee Gees tribute.
What most people didn’t realise was that Leonard Cohen at least had a song performed for him during the annual pre-show, now called the Premier Ceremony, where the majority of the awards are given. Judy Collins took the stage and, in a voice as strong as at any time in her career, sang Cohen’s Suzanne.
The lyrics for Suzanne first appeared in Cohen’s book of poetry Parasites of Heaven (1966) and was recorded by The Stormy Clovers before Collins included her version on the album In My Life (November 1966). The album also included Cohen’s Dress Rehearsal Rag.