Music diva Celine Dion will sing “Immortality” as part of the Recording Academy’s all-star tribute to the Bee Gees which celebrates the group’s critically-acclaimed catalog and the 40th anniversary of their iconic Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. The two-hour TV special called “Stayin’ Alive: A GRAMMY Salute to the Music of the Bee Gees” airs Sunday, April 16 at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. CST on CBS.
The song choice was simple for Dion, as Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb penned “Immortality” for her 1997 album Let’s Talk About Love. They also guested on the track on backing vocals. Dion performed the song with the Brothers Gibb live during their “One Night Only” concert which was filmed at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas the same year.
Dion talks about the new significance of the song over time in a preview clip of her Recording Academy tribute performance. She said, “Year after year you grow and you sing this song in the show and then you take that song and you take it out of the show. Then you start to lose people that you love and this song brings back memories and you bring this song back into your show.”
“Immortality” speaks of a quest to make a dream come true in the lines: “Cos I have found a dream that must come true/Every ounce of me must see it through.”
It also speaks of remembering someone through eternity in the lines: “I make my journey through eternity/I keep the memory of you and me inside.”
Unfortunately, both Celine Dion and the sole remaining survivor of the Bee Gees, Barry Gibb, have experienced tremendous loss. Dion’s husband, Rene’ Angelil, and her brother, Daniel Dion, died two days apart from cancer early last year.
Gibb’s younger twin brothers, Maurice and Robin, died in 2003 and 2012, respectively. Gibb’s youngest brother and pop music heartthrob, Andy, died many years earlier in 1988.
With two members of the Bee Gees gone, the 40th anniversary salute is somewhat bittersweet. The 1977 Saturday Night Fever soundtrack became one of the most important, critically-acclaimed soundtrack albums of all time.
Some critics and fans argue the largely Bee Gees-composed work helped define the disco music era. It won the Album of the Year Grammy Award in 1978 and three more Grammy Awards that year, including Best Arrangement of Voices for “Stayin’ Alive.” In 2004, the album also received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award.
Dion was honored to be asked to be part of the special Grammy tribute. She said, “So, here we are tonight. It’s a wonderful celebration of life and that music that’s been transporting us from generation to generation. Their music will never die …”
The Bee Gees have sold more than 220 million records worldwide in a career that spanned over four decades. Barry Gibb has continued a successful solo career. His most recent solo album, In the Now, was released in 2016.
“Stayin’ Alive: A GRAMMY Salute to the Music of The Bees” was taped two days after the 59th Annual Grammy Awards aired. Grammy-winning and Grammy-nominated artists joining Dion in the star-studded performer lineup include John Legend, Little Big Town, Pentatonix, Ed Sheeran, Keith Urban, Stevie Wonder, Demi Lovato, Andra Day, Nick Jonas, Tori Kelly and many more.
Bee Gees co-founder and seven-time Grammy winner Barry Gibb will also take the stage to perform a selection of hits from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.
Catch “Stayin’ Alive: A GRAMMY Salute to the Music of the Bee Gees” on Sunday April 16 at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. CST on CBS. Stay tuned to AXS for Barry Gibb updates.