Pulling double time at the 2015 Grammys, Kanye West performed “FourFiveSeconds” with the Beatles great and Rihanna as well as doing a solo performance of “The Only One.”
In addition to his solo performance of “The Only One”, Kanye also participated in a stripped-down performance of his new collaboration with Rihanna and Paul McCartney “FourFiveSeconds,” which you can watch below.
The performance was a back-to-basics, pull-no-punches affair, starting with the three artists standing in front of a plain white screen. All three of them wore black suits, further aiding the classic pop appeal of the song. Additionally, McCartney played an acoustic guitar for the majority of the song, only contributing background vocals during the song’s choruses.
Beginning with an expectedly poised vocal performance from Rihanna, the song then switches into a slightly auto-tuned verse courtesy of Kanye. During the ascending bridge section, Rihanna’s voice soars just as high as McCartney’s rudimentary, supportive guitar strums before coming back in for a landing with a shared verse for Rihanna and Kanye. The three then led the audience in a sing-along chorus, encouraging everyone to clap with the beat, before Rihanna brings it home on the final chorus with a signature vocal trill.
Consequence of Sound first reported on West’s dual performances, which come on the back of news that he is working on a new solo album. West made the announcement via a press release and by streaming his song “The Only One” on his website at the same time, which was recorded with McCartney on keyboards. In addition to “The Only One,” McCartney also contributed to several other songs on West’s as yet untitled forthcoming record.
Obviously, one of the results of these collaborative efforts has been the Kanye/Rihanna/McCartney collaboration “FourFiveSeconds,” having released an official video just days before their Grammy performance. As well as West, the other two are no slouches when it comes to Grammy nominations, with Rhianna receiving one for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration on her Eminem assisted track “The Monster.”
Even though he is the septagenarian of this pop supergroup, Paul McCartney has been keeping very busy in his own right lately. In addition to a tour of stadiums and large arena’s like San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, McCartney also contributed a song and video of “Hope for the Future” to help promote the release of the hugely successful video game Destiny.
While he waits to release his most recent album, West has also been busy performing live. For instance, he performed with U2 to help them make up for the loss of singer Bono in a surprise benefit concert for World AIDS Day, as well as headlining last year’s Made in America Festival in Los Angeles.
Watch the three superstars perform their new single below.