EW.com was there as Dave Matthews, Nelly Furtado, Natalie Merchant, Yoko Ono, and many more celebrated the music of the most political Beatle

By Missy Schwartz
Updated October 04, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Dave Matthews: Shawn Baldwin/AP Wide World

The evening was called ”Come Together: A Night for John Lennon’s Words and Music.” And come together they did: Musicians, actors, and supporters of the arts gathered at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall on Tuesday night for a benefit to celebrate the life and music of John Lennon (October 9 would have been Lennon’s 61st birthday).

The event — whose proceeds will go to support gun control and survivors of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack — united an eclectic group of artists from various genres and eras. ”We were very concerned about having really good musicians, funky people,” explained Yoko Ono, 68, Lennon’s widow and the show’s executive producer. ”But we also wanted people who represent this generation, because I wanted to make sure we [would] communicate with a young generation.” Among the show’s younger performers were Brit Craig David, Nelly Furtado, Rufus Wainwright, Alanis Morissette, and Lennon’s son Sean.

When it came to funky musicians, Yolanda Adams and Billy Preston opened the show with a soaring gospel rendition of ”Imagine,” Lennon’s most moving anthem to peace, and Shaggy closed it by leading an ensemble rendition of ”Give Peace a Chance.” Other highlights included Dave Matthews’ acoustic version of ”In My Life,” Natalie Merchant’s vocal on ”Nowhere Man,” and host Kevin Spacey’s impressive delivery of ”Mind Games.”

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