We reported in December that Daft Punk were planning a performance at this year’s Grammy Awards telecast, the duo’s first TV performance since they backed up Kanye West at the 2008 Grammys. It’ll also be their first time performing since releasing last year’s Random Access Memories, and Grammys executive producer Ken Ehrlich says they’ll give “a collaborative and celebratory stage performance that honors their multi-nominated music.” And now we’ve learned a bit more about that performance. “Get Lucky” collaborators Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers will join the robots onstage, and neither one is much of a surprise. But so will somebody else: Stevie Wonder, who, when you stop to think about it, makes total sense as a Daft Punk inspiration.
As the Daft Punk fan site Daft Club reports, drummer Omar Hakim, who played on RAM and who will back the group up at the Grammys, spilled the beans in a YouTube video: “This is going to be new for [Daft Punk], to have a band on stage. And evidently, Stevie Wonder is going to join us on stage, and Pharrell, and Nile.” Rolling Stone has confirmed that it’s happening.
Wonder has never exactly been shy about showing up for Grammy collaborations, but Daft Punk have earned a reputation for crazy planned-out spectacle, and it’ll be fascinating to see how they make room for Wonder’s goony improvisations. And when you consider that Wonder was pioneering the funky, expressive use of the vocoder in his own lush disco-funk songs before many of us were born, it should also make for a nice respect-is-due moment.