If you watched David Letterman’s interview with Jay-Z for My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman, then you would have noticed a very beautiful and talented singer by the name of Madison Ryann Ward, who stole the show during a segment with mega-producer Rick Rubin. So just how did Ward cross paths with one of the most elusive and celebrated producers in the business? According to an interview with Billboard, Ward got her start with a series of uploaded covers on YouTube, which were noticed by Zac Brown Band, who invited her on tour upon her move to Nashville. Later, one of Ward’s managers arranged a meeting with Rubin, and the rest is history. When Letterman arrived to shoot the episode, he was also met by Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real, who are currently on tour with Neil Young. It’s of note that I personally interviewed Lukas Nelson. That’s only of note in an effort to brag, because Willie Nelson’s spawn is just as talented as you hope he would be. You can see their beautiful duet in the second video below. Though the vocals were not originally written as a duet, Nelson came up with the idea when he heard Ward singing backup vocals off to the side. The result is a masterpiece. Watch below.
When David Letterman rode off into the sunset, he took a more traditional, structured form of late night televison with him, and what followed is viral videos of celebrities letting their hair down to play games and act out bits. But the new landscape kept one tradition intact, and it’s the male-dominated format. One might argue that there were simply no women in the mix at that level, but a simple bead of sweat would have likely found a female gem. Translation? No one wanted to do the work required to find the perfect female host. They went with what they knew. In a new interview with Tom Brokaw, Letterman shared this same sentiment, saying, “I’m happy for the guys—men and women—there should be more women. And I don’t know why they didn’t give my show to a woman.” Tune in to the entire interview Sunday night at 7 p.m. as part of the upcoming limited series “On Assignment” from NBC.
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