Told in the point of view of a Vietnam War veteran, “What’s Going On” seethes with social commentary, touching on drug abuse, poverty, and a war that drove a wedge between the American people. It’s widely considered one of the most important pop albums ever recorded.
Legend reprises Gaye’s work with the help of funk/soul singer Sharon Jones and her band the Dap-Tones, a leader in the revivalist movement of bands bringing back the signature sounds of Motown in the ‘60s and ‘70s.
The album features many well-known hits, the chief one being the song of the same name, which topped the soul charts for several weeks, as well as number two on the pop charts in 1971. “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” and “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)” also were critical and commercial hits.
Legend lives up to his name, having received nine Grammy Awards for his music, as well as the Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He added luster to other artists’ works, singing with Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Britney Spears and many other chart-topping stars. Legend himself hit number one with his hit song “All of Me.”
A short drive from the Elan Hotel, the Hollywood Bowl is Los Angeles’ premier concert venue. Home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the hall has also showcased music from around the world, including jazz, opera, and some of the biggest pop and rock acts ever to perform in concert.