Some of the biggest stars in music history were honored at the 46th annual Songwriters Hall Of Fame induction ceremony Thursday night, including Van Morrison, Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead, Cyndi Lauper and Linda Perry, to name a few. However, among all of the tributes these honorees got, like Carly Rae Jepsen covering Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga covering 4 Non Blondes, perhaps none of them were as special as new Late Show host Stephen Colbert covering “As Good As I Once Was” by his good buddy Toby Keith.
A frequent guest of The Colbert Report, Keith and Colbert actually seem to share a genuine bond. In his induction speech following the performance, Colbert told an anecdote about how Keith reassured him early on in The Report‘s history, according to Billboard:
“And my favorite part was of the night was, as the Big Dog was leaving out the stage door and I was going to the rewrite room — this was very early on in my show and he didn’t know what he was in for, I guess — he turned around to me and he said, ‘Hey man, you do a great job … whatever the f*ck it is you do.’
“I was sincerely, deeply moved by that comment, so much so that my executive producer — this is true — had it stitched on a pillow for me for Christmas. (He holds up a pillow with those words stitched into it)”
It’s only befitting that Colbert honors Keith after such a vote of confidence. And for what it’s worth, he had some pretty impressive chops covering a country song. Nashville could do much worse than giving him at least an album. We’ve already seen he can do New Wave.
In addition, here’s that Lady Gaga cover of 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up?”
…And Carly Rae Jepsen covering Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”