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Keith Richards' Gimme Shelter performance honors Merry Clayton at benefit concert

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Karen Pulfer Focht/AP

Keith Richards hit up the Jazz Foundation of America’s annual benefit concert, A Great Night In Harlem, at the Apollo Theater in New York City on Thursday night. Taking time off from promoting his solo album, Crosseyed Heart, the guitar legend paid tribute to Merry Clayton with a performance of “Gimme Shelter.”

Clayton, who sang in the original studio version of the track, was severely injured last year in a car accident. Richards was accompanied by his longtime band X-Pensive Winos, LaBelle singer Sarah Dash, and Rolling Stones backup singers Lisa Fischer and Bernard Fowler.

Rolling Stone posted footage of Richards’ performance.

 

A Great Night in Harlem seeks to raise money to support the medical care and similar assistance for jazz musicians in need. Clayton, who wasn’t present for the concert, accepted the Clark & Gwen Terry Award for Courage through a pre-recorded message.

“Now you know how many friends you got, honey,” Richards said in taking the stage. The guitarist also performed a rendition of the Stones song “Happy,” while Danny Glover, jazz legend Sonny Rollins, and Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen were among the musicians and speakers on hand.