With her massive piano ballad “Stay,” Rihanna proved to the universe, beyond any doubt, that she can actually sing. Anyone who has heard Horses already knew that Patti Smith is one of of the most expressive singers in rock history, and it’s easy to see how the sparse desperation of a song “Stay” that might appeal to her. And at a show at New York’s Webster Hall just before New Years Eve, Smith, like Low before her, gave a fully committed trancelike cover of “Stay,” only briefly breaking toward the end. Fan-made footage of the performance has surfaced online now; watch it below.
2013, it bears mentioning, was the first year in what feels like forever with no new Rihanna album, and I sort of miss her even though she hasn’t really gone away at all.