"A Song for You" is a song written and originally recorded by rock singer and pianist Leon Russell for his first solo album Leon Russell, which was released in 1970 on Shelter Records. A slow, pained plea for forgiveness and understanding from an estranged lover, the tune is one of Russell's best-known compositions. It has been performed and recorded by an array of artists, spanning many musical genres. Elton John has called the song an American classic.
Ray Charles: He recorded a version of the song on his 1993 album My World. Released as a single, it reached #4 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles, and won him a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Charles also performed the song at New York's Beacon Theatre on April 9, 2003, as part of Willie Nelson's 70th birthday tribute (released on DVD as Willie Nelson and Friends: Live & Kickin'). Leon Russell sang the first verse, Willie Nelson sang the second verse, and Charles sang the remainder of the song in this unforgettable performance. Nelson, who stood nearby during Charles' performance, was moved to tears.
Herbie Hancock performed the song featuring singer Christina Aguilera, which lasts seven minutes and five seconds. Released in August 2005 from Hancock's 45th studio album Possibilities, Aguilera and Hancock were nominated for the 48th Grammy Awards in category "Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals". Besides Hancock, other producers of this version were Jessica Hancock, John Alagía, Bob Brockman, Yaron Fuchs, Bryce Goggin, Steven "Steven J." Jordan, Rob Lucas, Alan Mintz, Greg Phillinganes, and Paul Simon.
Bizzy Bone performed the rendition featuring DMX and Chris Notez. It is the first official single from his album of the same name. The song's runtime is three minutes and 58 seconds. It is sampled from Donny Hathaway's 1971 rendition. The music video for the rendition included Bizzy Bone, DMX and Chris Notez; the music video includes Chris Notez playing a grand piano in front of a big manor singing his lyrics in the chorus, Bizzy Bone, DMX and sometimes Chris Notez singing in a dimly lit big room with Bizzy Bone wearing a bright red jacket and DMX wearing a copper brown jacket. Lastly Bizzy Bone is often seen in a suit singing the song in front of a tombstone, which appears to be the gravesite of rapper Eazy-E.
^The Encyclopedia of Country Music, 2012: "In 1970 Russell released his self-titled debut solo album, including such enduring songs as 'Delta Lady' and 'A Song for You,' both written for versatile vocalist Rita Coolidge. He followed with Leon Russell and the Shelter People (1971) and ..."