Guitar Aficionado

Paul Simon Announces Muhammad Ali’s Death While Singing “The Boxer”

The guitarist was in the middle of a show when he broke the news to his audience.

PHOTO: Mark Venema | Getty Images

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By Christopher Scapelliti

Paul Simon was in the middle of a concert at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, California, on June 3 when the news came that Muhammad Ali had died.

Simon was performing his hit song “The Boxer,” from Simon and Garfunkel’s 1970 album, Bridge Over Troubled Water, when he broke the news to the crowd.

Pausing ahead of the song’s final verse, Simon made the announcement that the championship boxer had died.

“I’m sorry to tell you this in this way,” he said, “but Muhammad Ali passed away.” The audience moaned their regrets, as Simon launched into the song’s final verse. His encore also included a performance of “The Sound of Silence” that he dedicated to Ali.

Simon is currently touring in support of his new album, Stranger to Stranger, which came out on June 3. Remaining tour dates can be seen below the video.

Paul Simon Stranger to Stranger Tour Dates
June 11 – Kansas City, MO @ Starlight
June 12 – St. Louis, MO @ Fox Theatre
June 14 – Minneapolis, MN @ Orpheum Theatre
June 19 – Rochester Hills, MI @ Meadow Brook
June 21 – Toronto, ON @ Sony Centre
June 22 – Montreal, QC @ Place Des Arts
June 24 – Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
June 25 – Philadelphia, PA @ Mann Center for the Performing Arts
June 30 – Forest Hills, NY @ Forest Hills Tennis Stadium