5 Iconic Performances from Legendary Artists in Their 70s and 80s

To make it as an artist and see your talents propel you from anonymity to fame and fortune is something only a very small percentage of those who pick up instruments and microphones can achieve.

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But it’s an even smaller percentage of people who having achieved great success, can showcase truly iconic performances later in life. We wanted to share five such performances from legendary artists in their 70s, 80s, and 90s.

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1. Mick Jagger

The 80-year-old Mick Jagger is a wonder of artistry and flexibility. Incredibly, the frontman for The Rolling Stones still goes on tour and his band still releases albums, including their winter 2023 offering, Hackney Diamonds. For those who don’t know, the process of writing, recording, and promoting an album can be exhausting for even the most youthful and spry. But for Jagger, who was writing hit songs in the 1960s, this is especially remarkable. Check out Jagger with youthful pop star Lady Gaga performing below.

2. Robert Plant

At 73 years old, the lion of a man and former lead singer for Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant released his second album with country star Alison Krauss. Together, the two sound like angel harps plucking away at traditional melodies. But Plant particularly amazes in this performance. Check out the two performing the lovely “Can’t Let Go” from Raise the Roof live below.

3. Dolly Parton

At 76 years old, iconic country star Dolly Parton was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last year. While at first, she declined, saying she was a country gal and not a rocker, she later acquiesced and made the most of her showcase. Glamorous and glorified, Parton took over the stage (of course) and brought out some big-name friends, including Brandi Carlile and P!nk. Check out the cast of characters led by Parton in 2022 singing her hit, “Jolene.”

4. Paul McCartney

The video below has garnered 70 million YouTube streams. But for former Beatle Paul McCartney, that’s just a drop in the bucket for his incredible career. Below, the then-77-year-old McCartney drove around with late-night show host James Corden as part of his Carpool Karaoke skit, singing songs like “Let It Be.” Today, McCartney is 81 and he’s still releasing work, including the book 1964: Eyes of the Storm.

5. Willie Nelson

Famed country star Willie Nelson celebrated his 90th birthday this year with a huge bash that included some of the biggest names in music. Check him out below performing with another, experienced rocker, Keith Richards.

Photo by Amy Sussman/WireImage

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