ABC’s new musical tribute show, Greatest Hits, premieres tonight at 9 p.m. ET. The debut episode will feature live performances from a variety of acts who had major hits from 1980 to 1985, including REO Speedwagon and Kenny Loggins, as well as from some contemporary artists.
As previously reported, REO will play two songs on the episode — a version of their 1980 chart-topper “Keep on Loving You,” and a duet with rap star Pitbull on his new single “Messin’ Around,” which samples the veteran rockers’ hit “Take It on the Run.” In a preview of the show, REO Speedwagon frontman Kevin Cronin says he loved the way Pitbull reworked “Take It on the Run.”
“We’re a real heartland group, and to have Pitbull take it and give it kind of a hip-hop, Latin thing, that was just awesome,” Cronin gushes. He adds, “When one of your peers does a song of yours, it’s the greatest feeling in the world. It’s the ultimate compliment.”
For Pitbull’s part, he says getting to do one of REO’s songs with the band was “a true honor.” The rapper also notes that the popular artists during REO Speedwagon’s 1980s heyday were focused on “making music for the people to enjoy, to have fun.”
Loggins, who will be playing his infectious 1984 hit “Footloose,” says he hopes his Greatest Hits appearance will help remind fans about him, noting, “It’s always good to get your name out there and have people remember that you can still sing and you can still work.”
Greatest Hits‘ debut show also features Rick Springfield, Kool & the Gang, Kim Carnes, Ray Parker Jr. and Jason Derulo. The program, which is co-hosted by Arsenio Hall and country singer Kelsea Ballerini, will have a six-week run on ABC.
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