Elle King & The Black Keys Join Forces In Fiery Tribute To Jerry Lee Lewis

By Kelly Fisher

November 10, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

Elle King teamed up with The Black Keys to deliver one of the highest-energy performances of the night at the 56th annual CMA Awards on Wednesday evening (November 9). King and the blues-rock duo took the stage at Bridgestone Arena in Downtown Nashville, Tennessee, covering “Great Balls of Fire” as a tribute to the late music legend, Jerry Lee Lewis.

King had her piano-playing skill on full display as she and The Black Keys sent the iconic 1950s song ringing throughout the arena: “You shake my nerves and you rattle my brain/ Too much love drives a man insane/ You broke my will, but what a thrill/ Goodness gracious great balls of fire/ I laughed at love when I thought it was funny/ But you came along and you moved me honey/ I’ve changed my mind, this love is fine/ Goodness gracious great balls of fire.”

Lewis died last month at his home in DeSoto County in Mississippi, south of Memphis, Tennessee. He was 87. Known as “the greatest piano player that’s ever lived,” the singer-songwriter whose decades-long career inspired many others “pounded the piano with such abandon that it’s a wonder it didn’t come apart,” the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame stated of Lewis’ jaw-dropping style. Lewis was among the first artists to be inducted into the Rock Hall in the 1980s, and he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame shortly before his death. The Louisiana native was too ill to attend the induction ceremony in Nashville, but delivered a statement read by Hank Williams Jr., and received his medallion from Kris Kristofferson. The Hall of Fame’s CEO, Kyle Young, remembered Lewis as “one of the greatest country singers of all time.”

King’s performance with The Black Keys comes shortly after she announced plans for her new country album, Come Get Your Wife, a 12-track project set to release in January (The Black Keys released a studio album of their own, Dropout Boogie, earlier this year, which they celebrated with an exclusive iHeartRadio Album Release Party). King’s upcoming album is set to include a few previously-released tracks, including her smash-hit duet with Miranda Lambert (”Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)”) and her latest collaboration with Dierks Bentley (“Worth A Shot”). Most recently, she debuted “Try Jesus,” along with a music video directed by actress and writer Edi Patterson.

“It’s important for me to always remember where my family is from and where my family still is… that’s home, for me,” King, who has always loved pop and rock music, previously explained of her upcoming project. “I know a lot of people have a lot of different perceptions of me, and they might be right. I don’t know. I don’t have anything to prove to anybody. I mean, I can’t control what people think, and most people are right about a lot of stuff. They just don’t know really where I’m from.

“Now, I understand that I have all of these influences and all of these things to make me this type of performer and songwriter, and now a producer. But all I can say is that this is what it is to me. This is what country is to me. And this is what makes me feel a certain way.”

Elle KingThe Black Keys
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