×

Adam Lambert Brings Cher to Tears With Moving Version of ‘Believe’ (Watch)

One of several highlights of the 2018 Kennedy Center Honors, which aired on CBS on Dec. 26, was Adam Lambert’s moving tribute to Cher. The “American Idol” alum and current Queen frontman delivered a slowed down version of Cher’s 1998 song “Believe,” which prompted the 72-year-old singer and actress to wipe tears from her eyes and mouth the word, “Wow”(watch the performance above).

When “Believe” was originally released, it was a major dance hit for Cher and also marked the first time “auto-tune” or “pitch correction” was used for effect in a hit song. “Believe” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, where it remained for four weeks in 1999. It also won best dance recording at the 2000 Grammy Awards.

Lambert had previously performed the song during his initial run on season 8 of “American Idol.” After the telecast, Cher tweeted just how moved she was by Lambert, writing, that her “senses [were] overwhelmed. Lambert responded that it “was a total honor,” to appear at the ceremony. “You’re a goddess,” he wrote.

Cher also tweeted words of admiration for Cyndi Lauper, who not only rocked the house with her version of the 1989 hit, “If I Could Turn Back Time,” but also joined Lambert for a duet of the Sonny & Cher classic, “I Got You Babe.”  Little Big Town romped through the 1971 hit “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.” The salute to Cher was saved for last and began with an introduction by pal Whoopi Goldberg.

At the Kennedy Center Honors, the Oscar-winning actress was honored along with fellow singer Reba McEntire, composer Philip Glass, jazz musician Wayne Shorter and the cast of “Hamilton.”

President Donald Trump declined to attend the event for the second straight year or host the traditional pre-gala reception for honorees at the White House. The decision, while breaking with longstanding tradition, was met without visible dissent since Trump’s presence would have overshadowed the event, if not impacted it directly. Among those who did attend were U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

With reporting by Paul Harris

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Woodstock Festival of Arts and Music

    As Woodstock Turns 50, the Fest's 10 Most Sacred Music Moments (Watch)

    Cars were left abandoned along the New York Interstate. Electrical and speaker systems fuzzed and popped. Amps blew then went silent. The rain was endless as the mud sank deep and rank. Young children ran naked and dazed through crowds of strangers. Food was scarce. Water, unclean. Looking back, Woodstock seems a more apocalyptic, than [...]

  • 'ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band

    Film Review: 'ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band From Texas'

    Settling in to watch “ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas,” you may have a burning question that applies to almost no other rock documentary, and that is: Who, exactly, are these guys? The ones behind the beards? If you’re old enough, of course, you probably know that ZZ Top started out, in 1969, [...]

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST

    Jay-Z to Acquire Ownership Stake in NFL Team (Report)

    Jay-Z will soon acquire a “significant ownership interest” in an NFL team, TMZ reported on Friday. The team was not disclosed, but a source told the site the deal will happen in the “near future,” adding that the billionaire rapper “wants to continue to be a change agent for the NFL.” Jay-Z’s company, Roc Nation, [...]

  • Blake Shelton, Trace AdkinsCMA Music Festival

    Blake Shelton Takes a Shot at 'Old Town Road' in New Single

    Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins have just released a duet, “Hell Right,” that seems to have a beef with “Old Town Road.” But is it a light-hearted, maybe even affectionate slam — or should anyone read culture-war significance into the two country stars expressing a preference for Hank Williams Jr. over Lil Nas X, the breakout [...]

  • Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven

    Department of Justice Backs Led Zeppelin in ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Copyright Case

    The U.S. Department of Justice has weighed in on the next big music copyright case on the horizon following the Katy Perry “Dark Horse” decision, and taken Led Zeppelin’s side in the long-running copyright dispute that pits the writers of the group’s anthem “Stairway to Heaven” against the publishers of the earlier song “Taurus” by [...]

  • Teddy Riley Walk of Fame

    From Blackstreet to Hollywood Blvd. as Teddy Riley Receives a Star on the Walk of Fame

    Many musical artists are responsible for hits, whether recording and writing for themselves or producing smashes for others. Teddy Riley’s got the success, having fashioned platinum-plated R&B works for, and with, Bobby Brown, Michael Jackson, Keith Sweat, Doug E. Fresh and more since the mid-’80s, not to mention the music of his own slick soul [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content