Keith Richards rocked the Apollo Theater in New York City on Thursday night, delivering a special performance in honour of legendary session singer Merry Clayton at the Jazz Foundation of America’s annual A Great Night in Harlem benefit concert. 

According to Rolling Stone, Richards was joined by his longtime solo band, The X-Pensive Winos, along with Rolling Stones backing vocalists Bernard Fowler and Lisa Fischer and LaBelle singer Sarah Dash.

Clayton, who famously duetted with Mick Jagger on the classic Stones tune “Gimme Shelter,” lost both her legs in a car accident in June 2014.  She was presented with the Jazz Foundation’s Clark & Gwen Terry Award for Courage at the charity event, and accepted the honor via a pre-taped video.

Richards’ tribute to Clayton closed out the concert, and featured performances of “Gimme Shelter”  with Keith sharing vocal duties with Fowler, Fischer and Dash  as well as another memorable Rolling Stones tune, “Happy.”

Prior to the Rolling Stones guitarist’s mini-set, Clayton received a standing ovation from the audience, prompting Keith to declare as he kicked off his performance, “Now you know how many friends you got, honey.”

Jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins and late civil-rights activist Julian Bond were also honored during the A Great Night in Harlem event, which raises money to help provide medical care and other aid for jazz and blues musicians.  You can watch videos of both songs Richards played at

Want more? Listen to this best bit from Jonesy & Amanda!