Heart’s Wilson Sisters Recall Getting Led Zeppelin’s Approval After Memorable Kennedy Center Performance

Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson visited SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show this week to promote the upcoming Royal Flush Tour. During their interview, the rocking sisters discussed their memorable 2012 appearance at the Kennedy Center Honors, where they took part in an epic performance of “Stairway to Heaven” in tribute to honorees Led Zeppelin.

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Host Howard Stern asked the Wilsons if any of Led Zeppelin’s members talked to them about the performance after the event. Ann and Nancy recalled that Robert Plant and Jimmy Page both shared their opinion during a post-show dinner held for the honorees and participants.

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“Seated at our table were some members of Zeppelin, Kid Rock, [and Dave Grohl],” Ann recalled. “Yeah, and it was a pretty cool table, you know.”

The singer then remembered that Plant told them that “he usually hated people’s covers of ‘Stairway,’ but he liked that one.”

Nancy added, “He said, ‘You guys pulled it off,’” and then recalled that Led Zeppelin’s legendary guitarist also bestowed some words of praise on her.

[RELATED: Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson Recall the Time the Van Halen Brothers Propositioned Them]

“Jimmy Page goes, ‘Wow, you kind of nailed the guitar part really great,’” she said. “And I was like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God. I just heard that from him. I could die.’”

Robert Plant’s Emotional Reaction During Heart’s Led Zeppelin Tribute

The “Stairway to Heaven” performance also featured drums by Jason Bonham, son of Led Zeppelin’s drummer John Bonham, who died in 1980. At the show, Jason wore his late dad’s signature bowler hat.

Stern brought up the fact that during the performance, Plant was captured tearing up as he watched the show.

Ann suggested that Plant likely got emotional for a number of reasons, then singled out the fact that Jason was taking part in the performance.

“Like, he looks down and he sees Jason Bonham playing drums, who was probably just a little kid running around at their band practice when they were … writing ‘Stairway to Heaven, you know,” Ann noted.

More Details About Heart’s Performance

The Wilson sisters also recalled that they had little preparation before doing the performance, only one rehearsal and a soundcheck.

Nancy then shared her memory of getting ready to walk out on the stage.

“[W]e looked at each other, and took a very deep breath, and kind of [breathed out slowly], like a Zen gathering of yourself, centering and focusing,” she said. “[Y]ou just can’t screw that up.”

Added Ann, “Right. No, you have to be absolutely present in the moment.”

The dramatic performance also features a choir and a string and horn section.

Heart’s 2024 Tour Plans

As previously reported, Heart will launch the Royal Flush Tour 2024 on April 20 in Greenville, South Carolina. The trek is plotted out through a December 15 show in Las Vegas.

The tour will feature Heart supported by various opening acts, including Cheap Trick, Bachman-Turner Overdrive with Randy Bachman, and, interestingly enough, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening.

Tickets for the Heart’s concerts are available now via various outlets, including StubHub.

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