Elle King Joins Black Keys for Fiery Jerry Lee Lewis Tribute at 2022 CMA Awards
Elle King and the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney brought a strong burst of rock and roll to the 2022 CMA Awards stage on Wednesday night for a fitting tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis.
The genre-bending trio put their own spin on "Great Balls of Fire," Lewis' trademark hit that topped the charts in 1957. Lewis died on Oct. 28 at the age of 87, marking the end of a tumultuous career that changed the music industry forever.
King, who has a background in pop and rock music, more than showcased her rock and roll prowess when she took to the stage with the Black Keys to perform Lewis' classic song. Sitting at the piano with a striped shirt, long ponytail and black leather pants that read "The Killer," she tore into the tune. The artists brought the energy from the beginning as King rapidly played the song's famous piano part while singing enthusiastically. She pushed her vocals to the max and even stood up at times while playing as Lewis used to, making for a rousing performance.
Auerbach and Carney backed King up on electric guitar and drums, taking the CMA Awards audience back to the 1950s — with a twist. The performance only continued to gain heat when, towards the end, King's piano started producing actual flames in a nod to one of the most famous stories about Lewis. The piano keys continued to ring as King held nothing back until the end of the tune.
Known for her fiery mix of rock, soul, blues and country, King's series of impressive country collaborations have earned her three CMA Award nominations over the past six years. "Different for Girls," her hit collaboration with Dierks Bentley, earned her the award for Musical Event of the Year in 2016.
The Country Music Association held the 2022 CMA Awards on Nov. 9 at Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville. The show, co-hosted by Luke Bryan and former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, aired live on ABC.