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BBMAs 2015: Imagine Dragons Cover 'Stand By Me' for an Emotional Ben E. King Tribute

by Alyssa Ladzinski   May 18, 2015 08:32 AM EDT

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In a tribute to the recently deceased Ben E. King, Imagine Dragons took on an emotional rendition of one of the world's most widely covered songs, "Stand By Me" at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards.


Imagine Dragons - Stand By Me (Ben E... by movieawards2015

The 76-year-old R&B legend passed away on April 30, but his legacy filled the room through his timeless music and the presence of his daughters and grandaughters who all stood by each other in an embrace for the remainder of the performance. Dan Reynolds, Daniel Wayne Sermon, Daniel Platzman, and Ben McKee executed the expressive cover in their very own hometown of Las Vegas. The Nevada natives had previous experience covering the music staple with a performance for SiriusXM in February.

Lead singer of the foursome Dan Reynolds, emobodied soulfulness with a simple, acoustic performance along with dim lighting for a somber ambiance. Imagine Dragons stayed true to the arrangement of the song thats been recorded over 400 times by artists including Otis Redding and John Legend. Aside from King's family swaying side to side and mouthing the iconic lyrics, Taylor Swift was unsurprisngly caught moving to the music. Despite the songs assurance not to shed a tear, it's quite possible there wasn't a dry eye left at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The cover concluded with a black and white, classic photo of King displayed behind the rock group.

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