If listening to the Stern Show this year has felt like music to your ears, there’s a very good reason.
Howard and the Stern Show studio welcomed the performances of a slew of talented musical guests in 2017, from multi-platinum pop stars like Ed Sheeran and Miley Cyrus to crossover sensations like Sheryl Crow and Kelly Clarkson to Grammy-winning country artist Chris Stapleton, just to name a few. Show listeners have also been treated to epic performances from some of the biggest names in rock, including William Patrick Corgan, Liam Gallagher, and U2’s Bono and the Edge.
Take a look back at all of the live Stern Show musical performances in 2017:
Child actress turned pop sensation Miley Cyrus made her Stern Show debut in October to promote her latest album "Younger Now." In addition to sitting with Howard for a lengthy conversation about many aspects of her life and career, Miley performed several songs in the studio, including the album's titular single and past hits like "Party in the U.S.A." and "The Climb" (below).
She also discussed making the memorable video for "Wrecking Ball," in which she rode an actual wrecking ball. “Some things live forever,” Miley told Howard. "Swinging around naked in the middle of a bunch of rubble licking a sledge hammer—that's forever. That shit’s not going anywhere. It’ll be here long after me."
Then she delivered a classic in-studio rendition of the song. Take a listen (below):
The young starlet also paid homage to recently deceased rock legend Tom Petty by covering his song "Wildflowers." “It’s just really hard for me, watching those people that I grew up with leaving,” Miley told Howard during their in-studio interview. Take a listen to her tribute (below) and listen to the rest of Howard’s interview with Miley here.
U2's Bono and the Edge
Two of the most talented figures in the music industry made their Stern Show debut in December — U2’s Bono and the Edge. The rock icons sat down with Howard for an in-depth conversation about their 40-plus year career, which touched upon their new studio album “Songs of Experience" and several of their classic hits, including "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "Where the Streets Have No Names."
Listen to them deliver an acoustic in-studio rendition of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (below).
The duo also performed two tracks from the new album, with Bono telling Howard these songs examine “the feelings that I had for the people that I care about.” Take a listen:
Check out Howard’s full interview with Bono and the Edge here.
Sheryl Crow returned to the Stern Show in April to promote her new studio album "Be Myself." In addition to looking back at the improbable beginnings of her incredible career, including her breakout role in a McDonald's commercial, the multi-platinum recording artist also performed quite a few songs for Howard and his listeners, like her classic hit "All I Wanna Do" (above) and her new song "Halfway There" (below).
Before playing "Everyday Is a Winding Road," one of the biggest hits from her sophomore album, Sheryl revealed the song had initially almost wound up on the cutting room floor. "I just didn't think it was that great of a song," Sheryl told Howard. "I don't know anything."
Thankfully, that wasn't the case. Watch her in-studio performance of "Everyday Is a Winding Road" (below).
Check out Howard’s full interview with Sheryl here.
Ed Sheeran never fails to impress when he visits the Stern Show and his most recent visit in March was no exception. The British singer-songwriter discussed several hit songs he's written, including "Lose Yourself" which he originally envisioned would be sung by Rihanna and then later decided might better suit Justin Bieber.
Ed also put on a mini-concert in the Stern Show studio, performing “Castle on the Hill” from his new album “÷” which sold 672,000 units in its opening week alone.
He revealed the track is based on his upbringing but inspired by the work of Bruce Springsteen. "I'm a recent Springsteen admirer," Ed told Howard before playing the tune. "I'm a bit late to the party but, I listened to 'The River' and I was like, 'I need to write a song like 'The River.'”
Watch Ed perform “Castle on the Hill” (above).
Next, Ed delighted listeners with an acoustic medley of various cover songs, including ones from 50 Cent, Coldplay, and Blackstreet. Take a look (below) and check out Howard’s latest interview with Ed here.
Grammy-winning country artist Chris Stapleton made his Stern Show debut in May, enjoying a wide-ranging interview with Howard that touched upon him penning hits for other musicians (like Kenny Chesney, Darius Rucker, and Luke Bryan) before landing his first contract with Capitol Records, which helped make him the chart-topping singer-songwriter he is today.
Chris also delivered a live in-studio performance of "Broken Halos," a song off the album he was there to promote, "From A Room: Volume 1." He told Howard he wrote the track 10 years ago after a friend mentioned reading the phrase “Broken Halos” in Keith Richards' biography, which apparently referred to the friends in Keith’s life who had passed away.
Watch Chris perform his single "Broken Halos," which has since earned him another Grammy nomination (above), and check out Howard’s full interview with the country star here.
Liam Gallagher made his first visit to the Stern Show in 2017, nearly eight years after he and his brother Noel had disbanded Oasis. In a wide-ranging interview, Liam told Howard and the world he was open to getting the band back together just as soon as he and his brother could make amends. He also performed a few songs in the studio, including a single off his solo debut “As You Were” as well as the ubiquitous Oasis single “Wonderwall.”
As good as his performance was, Liam had to run out of the studio as soon as he was done singing in order to use the bathroom. “We’ve never had that happen before,” Robin said while cracking up.
Watch Liam Gallagher perform “Wonderwall” (above), his bathroom break-inducing solo single “Wall of Glass” (below), and check out more from his interview here.
In addition to bringing a full complement of engaging stories during her Stern Show debut in November, "American Idol" standout turned pop sensation Kelly Clarkson brought a full backing band so she could put on a mini-concert for Howard and his listeners. She sang several of her hit songs as well as the first single off her new album, "Meaning of Life."
Since she was able to achieve so much success so quickly, Kelly said she felt others in the music industry resented her and also revealed she got elbowed in the face once while presenting someone with an award. Howard guessed correctly that it was Avril Lavigne, who actually went on to write Kelly’s hit song “Breakaway.”
Check out Kelly performing “Breakaway” (below).
Kelly also told the story of one of her biggest hits "Since U Been Gone," which she said was originally offered to and passed on by Pink. When Kelly heard the song she almost passed on it herself. It wasn’t until she and her producers put their heads together and added a pop-rock edge to it that Kelly decided to include it on her second studio album, “Breakaway.”
Check out her Stern Show performance of “Since U Been Gone” (below).
Also on “Breakaway” is “Because of You," a track Clarkson fought hard to include. Its lyrics describe Kelly’s painful childhood and relationship with her father, but she told Howard there were several in her camp who didn’t want to put out the song, including producer Clive Davis.
“They said it was shitty because it didn’t rhyme,” Kelly explained. “It was a general consensus it was a shit song.”
After not backing down, Kelly released the song and the charts proved her persistence was worth it — “Because of You” became Kelly’s sixth single to crack the Top 10.
Hear her sing it on the Stern Show (above) and listen to Kelly’s full interview with Howard here.
William Patrick Corgan
When William Patrick Corgan returned to the Stern Show in October, he and Howard had plenty to discuss, including his name change, his new solo album "Ogilala," and how much he appreciates his former Smashing Pumpkins bandmates James Iha, Jimmy Chamberlin, and D'arcy Wretzky.
“It’s so intense that they gave me their faith,” Corgan told Howard. “Those three people – James, Jimmy, and D’arcy – they said, ‘We will follow you down this crazy path. Whatever your weird brain is thinking, we will follow.’ And it’s so humbling to me now.”
With only an acoustic guitar in his hands, Corgan proceeded to sing “1979,” one of the Smashing Pumpkins’ biggest hits, live in the Stern Show studio. Listen to his performance (below).
Later, Corgan shared a story about a memorable night he spent with Neil Young, Marilyn Manson, and Lou Reed. The four of them, along with a few others, had gathered at Neil’s house for a charity benefit party, but the group decided to move the festivities into Neil’s tepee. Once inside and looking around, Corgan said he knew this was a truly a once-in-a-lifetime occasion. “I think, ‘I need to really remember this moment because this cannot be recreated,’” Corgan recalled.
He then delivered an unexpected rendition of one of Neil's classic tunes that Corgan had just learned only days before. Listen to William Patrick cover "After the Gold Rush" on the Stern Show (below).
Finally, William Patrick performed “Aeronaut,” a single from his solo album that Rick Rubin was instrumental in helping him perfect. “It’s about my son,” Corgan told Howard and Robin before playing.
Listen to him play “Aeronaut” (below) and check out Howard’s full interview with William Patrick Corgan here.
Adam Levine and Maroon 5
When Adam Levine and Maroon 5 joined the Stern Show earlier this year, it was a few months after the passing of legendary Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell. Adam wanted to do something special to pay tribute to the rock icon and repeat Stern Show guest, so he and his band performed a cover of “Seasons,” Chris's song from the “Singles” soundtrack.
“This is probably my favorite Chris Cornell song,” Adam said before he and his Maroon 5 bandmates James Valentine, Sam Farrar, and Jesse Carmichael performed their cover live and in-studio.
“I deeply regret not getting to meet him, but his music was so unbelievably influential on all of us,” Adam added.
Maroon 5 guitarist James Valentine also gave his take on why “Seasons” is such a unique song. “It’s only two notes,” he told Howard while strumming out a C note followed by an F note. “For a guitar player, that’s a pretty weird tuning.”
While the guys said they're confident their fans would enjoy it if they sang “Seasons” in concert, Adam told Howard there was no better place to perform the song than on the Stern Show. “Going on your show and doing this song for [Cornell] is something that makes sense,” Adam said.
Listen to Adam and Maroon 5 cover “Seasons” (below) and check out the full sit-down with Howard, which covered a variety of topics including the band’s new album “Red Pill Blues” here.
New Kids on the Block
All five members of New Kids on the Block joined the Stern Show in June for a very special live performance. Not only did Donnie Wahlberg and the rest of the guys sing a stripped-down version of their hit song "You Got It (The Right Stuff)," they did it while one of their biggest fans, High Pitch Erik, sat in the studio.
Before bringing in the enthusiastic Wack Packer, Howard talked to the band about the formative years of their career, including being discovered in Dorchester, Mass., by record producer Maurice Starr, putting on concerts in prisons, eventually selling out stadiums, and also the time when Donnie’s brother Mark Wahlberg was a member of the band.
After shining a light on their early successes, NKOTB sang their smash hit "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" live in the studio. Check out their performance in the video (above).
Get more of Howard’s interview with NKOTB as well as their interactions with High Pitch Erik here.