Stone makes an appearance

NEW YORK: Sly Stone, the reclusive pioneer of a hugely influential soul-rock-funk fusion, was drawn out of seclusion by a Grammys tribute. Stone made his first major public appearance since January 12, 1993, when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Sporting a giant blond Mohawk, dark shades and a silver, purple-lined robe, Stone took the stage after a five-song medley tribute that included John Legend, Joss Stone, Maroon 5, from The Black Eyed Peas and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith.

Stone played I Want to Take You Higher behind a set of keyboards with his old band, the Family Stone, appearing uncertain and unaccustomed to the bright lights of the big event.

He kept his head bowed, declining to address the audience or acknowledge the occasion.

Though the tribute was planned, many didn’t expect Stone — who hasn’t performed in public in years — to show up.

Keith Urban was answering questions backstage when Stone’s performance began playing on a nearby monitor, and he had to stop talking. “I think we just got upstaged,” Urban said in amazement. “Everything pales in comparison.”