Stevie Wonder Welcomes Ella Mai, Anderson .Paak, Sheila E. & More to his House Full of Toys Holiday Concert


Some issues by no means exit of favor — like seeing Stevie Wonder in live performance. 

Fans have been gifted with performances by Wonder and particular visitors, together with Ella Mai, Anderson .Paak, Sheila E., PJ Morton and Leon Bridges, in the course of the Motown legend’s House Full of Toys Benefit Concert at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday.

In retaining with the custom of donating unwrapped toys and items on behalf of kids, individuals with disabilities and households in want, concertgoers additionally aided one other good trigger on the 22nd annual vacation profit. This yr, Wonder’s House Full of Toys teamed with the Grammy winner’s House Full of Hope group and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) Music for Relief, to boost cash in help of households who suffered losses within the catastrophic fires in Northern and Southern California, the firefighters who saved lives and houses and first responders.

“This has been a loopy yr, as everyone knows,” Wonder declared on the present’s outset earlier than he and daughter Aisha Morris broke right into a rollicking rendition of his vacation music “What Christmas Means to Me.” Afterward, Wonder thanked the live performance’s crew of sponsors, together with Bank of America, Bank of the West and Salesforce, the latter of which donated $1 million to the We Are You Foundation.

After main a standing ovation of thanks for the firefighters and first responders, Wonder declared, “There is international warming.” Referencing the present administration, he added to boisterous viewers applause, “Tell whomever to cease speaking that ish.”

Then for the subsequent two and a half hours, with Morris and comic Chris Spencer co-hosting, it was all in regards to the music. Among the night’s highlights:

-When Lukas Nelson was launched to the stage because the son of nation legend Willie, it wasn’t onerous to see that these unfamiliar with the singer/songwriter anticipated him to carry out one thing from his dad’s deep catalog. But the youthful Nelson, frontman for  Promise of the Real (which seems as Bradley Cooper’s band in A Star Is Born), turned out a shocked Staples Center viewers with a blazing efficiency of the group’s personal observe “Find Yourself.” Nelson’s rocking homage to soul/R&B and his hard-charging guitar prowess deservedly drew the night’s first standing ovation for a performer.

-Newly minted Grammy nominee Anderson .Paak (finest rap efficiency for “Bubblin”) proved he’s simply as adept on an instrument as he’s behind the mic. He manned the drums to again Wonder (on keyboards) and Morris on a duet of “Little Drummer Boy,” which featured a mesmerizing instrumental break that teamed .Paak with different drummers and percussionists on Wonder’s crew of musicians helmed by music director Rickey Minor. Paak, who additionally accompanied Wonder on “Overjoyed,” later returned to carry out his personal music “Tints” that includes Kendrick Lamar, noting, “Stevie’s acquired me sweating like I’m taking part in in church.”

-First-time Grammy nominee Ella Mai added extra icing to her already candy yr by making her debut look on the vacation profit. Before Mai carried out “Boo’d Up”–nominated for music of the yr and finest R&B music—Wonder stated of Mai’s hit, “She made me wish to go residence and do some issues. And guess what? I did.” Mai additionally rejoined Wonder on the fan fave “Superstition.”

-And percussionist Sheila E. proved her drumming abilities are nonetheless simply as deadly as she introduced the viewers to its toes for a raucous sing-along to her best-known hit “The Glamourous Life.” At one level the singer/songwriter hoisted her cymbal stand and threw it down onstage along with tossing drumsticks out to the group. “I believe she broke all of the devices,” joked Wonder, who stored Sheila E. onstage as he introduced out Chanté Moore so the trio may carry out “My Cherie Amour.”

Rounding out the 2018 House Full of Toys live performance lineup have been newly introduced Grammy nominees PJ Morton and Leon Bridges, Ari Lennox, Ro James, Daley, newcomer male quartet fourth Ave and DJ Malski. Before closing the night with “Another Star,” Wonder teamed with Daley on a shifting model of “You and I,” Lennox on “Creeping” and Morton on “Winter Wonderland.”