Starry tribute concerts cap Frank Sinatra’s 100th year
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By Kimberly Pierceall | Associated Press
LAS VEGAS — 100 is turning out to be a very good year for Frank Sinatra.
What would have been the musical icon’s centennial birthday on Dec. 12 has been celebrated with an HBO documentary about his life, a Grammy museum exhibit, even dinner specials at an old Las Vegas steakhouse.
A pair of star-studded tribute concerts — one Wednesday night at the Wynn Las Vegas resort-casino, the other Thursday night at Lincoln Center in New York — capped the festivities.
Among the stars paying tribute to Sinatra in Las Vegas were Tony Bennett, Garth Brooks, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Adam Levine, Carrie Underwood and Usher. The two-hour, Grammy-produced concert airs from 8 to 10 p.m. Sunday on WBBM-Channel 2.
Daughter Tina Sinatra says the family had been developing plans for a tribute concert in the back of their minds since her father’s death in 1998.
“His legacy is the music, and his music is the legacy. And that’s what cannot die,” she said.
It was after the Grammys tribute to the Beatles last year that Tina Sinatra walked into the office of CBS chairman and CEO Les Moonves, and her question was answered before she could even ask it.
“I know what you’re here for and the answer is yes,” she said Moonves said.
The producer responsible for the Beatles tribute and shows honoring Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder, AEG Ehrlich Ventures, returned for the Sinatra concert.
Choosing a fitting location to honor the Hoboken, New Jersey-native came down to New York or Las Vegas, where he crooned often.
“Las Vegas seemed more on the nose,” she said.
Asked what Sinatra himself might think of the lineup and performances if he were sitting in the front row, Grammy president and CEO Neil Portnow said, “I hope he’d feel the love and the joy in the room about being able to celebrate all that he has provided for so many millions, for so many decades and will continue in the future,” adding that the crooner would have a blast. “Doobie-doobie do.”
The Lincoln Center concert, with Christina Aguilera, Sting and other stars performing with the New York Philharmonic, airs at 9 p.m. Dec. 18 on WTTW-Channel 11.