Tough years always seem to throw one final blow as they go from reality to history. 2021’s cruel farewell was TV icon Betty White, who passed on New Year’s Eve just days shy of her 100th birthday. Among the many people to pay tribute to the comedic giant was John Mayer, who provided a performance of the Golden Girls theme song to the CNN New Year’s Eve Live broadcast.
While Betty White’s accolades in the entertainment world were unparalleled, there’s admittedly not much of a “music” element to her legacy—though she did take home a Grammy in 2012 for Best Spoken Word for her book If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t). But with enduring roles in foundational TV shows like The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls and scene-stealing appearances in a slew of others that spanned generations (we’re partial to her violent, pee-drinking, rapping Anthology professor from Community), everyone’s surely feeling her loss.
The entertainment world had been ramping up to celebrate her 100th birthday in just a couple weeks—there’s an issue of People celebrating Betty’s 100th on newsstands as we speak—and you could look at her “early” departure as salt in the wound, but we’re gonna go ahead and file this as one last clinic on comedic timing from an all-time great. Thank you for being a friend, Betty.
Watch CNN New Year’s Eve Live co-hosts Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen introduce John Mayer’s heartfelt farewell to Betty White below. Scroll down for bonus footage of her Africa rap ft. Donald Glover and Danny Pudi from Community.
John Mayer Honors Betty White – “Thank You For Being A Friend” (Golden Girls Theme, Andrew Gold) – CNN New Year’s Eve – 12/31/21
Community Anthropology Rap ft. Betty White, Donald Glover, Danny Pudi
John Mayer is due to head out on the road this year for an extensive U.S. tour in support of his 2021 album, Sob Rock. Before that tour kicks off in the Northeast in February, Mayer will make his way to Mexico for two installments of the Dead & Company destination event, Playing In The Sand. For a full list of upcoming John Mayer tour dates, head here.