Top 8 Musical Cameos on ‘Sesame Street’

Sesame Street first aired in late 1969 and is still going strong today as a beloved learning tool for children and even a source of entertainment for their parents. By using puppets, skits, and even pop culture references and figures, the show has been able to appeal to a wide-ranging audience.

Videos by American Songwriter

Celebrity guests have often brought a certain sophistication to the colorful kids’ television program; and appearances from popular musicians of the time have, especially, been a major draw for viewers of all ages. Here are some past cameos from musicians that proved Sesame Street is for everyone.

1. Norah Jones

The 2000s’ favorite singer/songwriter Norah Jones appeared on the show in 2004 for an educational parody of her hit song, “Don’t Know Why.” In the below video, she takes to the keys when her friend, the letter Y, doesn’t show up to meet her, shifting her song’s lyrics around to sing, I don’t know why Y didn’t come.

2. Johnny Cash

The Man in Black, Johnny Cash, made an appearance on the program in 1973. In the episode, he knocks on Oscar the Grouch’s trash can to sing him a song, called “Nasty Dan.” When his tune comes to a close, Oscar lovingly asks if he’s that guy, Johnny Trash.

3. Paul Simon

When Paul Simon came on the show in 1978, he had some help singing his classic, “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard.” Sitting in a doorway with guitar in hand, Simon strums away as the little girl by his side takes the lead in an adorable collaboration.

4. Little Richard

What’s better than a Little Richard song about a rubber duckie? Nothing. The mustachio’d icon appeared on an episode in 1994, playing the piano and serenading the toy fowl while in a bathtub.

5. Dave Matthews

Dave Matthews joined in on the fun down on Sesame Street in 2013. Alongside Grover, the jam band frontman sang a little tune about expressing his feelings. I need a word so I can say what I’m feeling today, the pair sing.

6. Stevie Wonder

Grover and another artist got to jam out when Stevie Wonder came on the show in 1973. In the video below, Wonder and the puppet can be seen taking turns scatting. The musician also performed his hit “Superstition” on the episode.

7. The Chicks

The Chicks made an appearance on Sesame Street in 2002 to sing about the letter B alongside Big Bird, Baby Bear, and Bert. The tune was set to their iconic pop country song, “I Can Love You Better.” There’s no letter better than B, the group sings.

8. Destiny’s Child

Destiny’s Child was another trio that appeared on the show in 2002. A young Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams join the puppets Grover, Elmo, and Zoe for the song, “A New Way to Walk.”

Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival

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