John Legend, Ciara, Meghan Trainor & More Star-Studded Performances from 'Motown 60: A GRAMMY Celebration'
By Zach Seemayer
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The undeniable impact and enduring legacy of the Motown sound was honored on Sunday during the TV special, Motown 60: A GRAMMY Celebration, a star-studded gala tribute concert recognizing the label's six decades of excellence.
Hosted by Motown legend Smokey Robinson -- who co-hosted the Motown tribute alongside Jennifer Lopez during this year's GRAMMY Awards back in February -- as well as comedian Cedric the Entertainer, the two-hour special, which was recorded two days before the GRAMMY Awards, featured epic performances from some of the biggest names in music from a variety of genres.
Meghan Trainor brought her fun, vibrant pop-star energy to the stage, performing The Supremes' 1966 single "You Can't Hurry Love," as part of the special's The Women of Motown Medley.
Donning a shimmering pink sequined robe and knee-high silver boots, Trainor's voice worked perfectly with the classic tune as she put her own twist on the cover that made it sound like something that would fit perfectly among her own original songs.
The other stars who lent their talents to the medley were Tori Kelly singing Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell's "Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing," Fantasia Barrino rocking head-to-toe leopard print while belting Mary Well's "My Guy," and Chloe x Halle covering The Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman."
The medley also featured iconic singer Thelma Houston singing her own famous version of "Don't Leave Me This Way," which was a No.1 hit for her in 1977 and won her a GRAMMY for Best R&B Vocal Performance that year.
Ciara also added her voice to the celebration, and brought a vivacious, wild energy to the stage for her tribute to Rick James. The singer rocked a skin-tight black body suit and donned beaded braids that evoked James' iconic 'do while performing a sexy medley of the late artist's tunes "Super Freak" and "Give It to Me Baby."
It was such an honor to perform at the Motown 60 Grammy tribute special! So fun! Watch tonight at 8pm EST on CBS! pic.twitter.com/m9fklmFpDd
John Legend, meanwhile, also took the stage and showed off his unmatched vocal talents with a medley performance all his own.
The handsome EGOT winner sat behind his signature piano and wowed the audience with a medley of Marvin Gaye tunes, including "Mercy Mercy Me" and "What’s Going On."
The special also featured some stunning performances from Motown legends themselves, including Stevie Wonder -- who performed "Sir Duke," "Higher Ground," "Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer," and "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours" -- and Diana Ross, who sang her classic songs "Do You Know Where You’re Going To," "Good Morning Heartache" and "My Man."
Additional performances included Ne-Yo singing a medley of "I Like It," "I’ll Be There," "All Night Long", as well as The Pentatonix -- teaming up with Robinson -- for a cover of his "Shop Around."
Later, Robinson singing his classic songs "The Tracks of My Tears," "Ooh Baby Baby," "The Tears of a Clown," and "Just to See Her."
The special also re-aired Lopez' Motown tribute from this year's GRAMMYs, which saw the pop diva cover some of the genre's most beloved hits.
ET caught up with Lopez backstage at the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards and she addressed critics who said the Bronx-born pop icon doesn't have enough of a connection to the Motown genre.
"The thing about music is that it inspires all. Any type of music can inspire any type of artist," Lopez told ET. "You can’t tell people what to love. You can't tell people what they can and can’t do, what they should sing or not sing. You gotta do what’s in your heart."
Check out the video below to hear more from the singer about why she was so excited to honor the genre that influenced her love of music.