In December 2012, CBS aired its broadcast of the annual Kennedy Center Honors, which awards exemplary lifetime achievement in the performing arts. This was the year that British classic rock band Led Zeppelin was one of the honorees.
“Stairway to Heaven,” released in 1971, is often referred to as one of the greatest rock songs of all time. For any guitarist, learning each note of the intro is basically a birthright. When Ann and Nancy Wilson of the band Heart came on stage for the Kennedy Center Honors finale, their rendition of “Stairway” instantly went viral. Robert Plant, Led Zeppelin’s famed frontman, nearly broke down in tears as the Wilson sisters were joined by late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham’s son Jason on drums. “Stairway” is an incredibly difficult song to perform and pull off live, with its anthemic energy, building climax, and intricate vocals, yet Ann took full command of the classic rock tune, and left the entire audience speechless. Her voice takes a powerful turn at 4:00, and you don’t want to miss it!
Watch the powerhouse performance below. I guarantee you’ll be standing in your seat by the end.
I’m just gonna say it: This is one of the best covers of “Stairway To Heaven” that has ever been sung by anyone.
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