Paul Simon played a concert at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, California on Friday night. To close the second encore, Simon performed “The Boxer”. He paused midway through the song to announce the death of Muhammad Ali.
“I’m sorry to tell you this in this way, but Muhammad Ali passed away,” Simon told the crowd. He then finished the song at the last verse, singing, “In the clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his trade/ And he carries the reminders, of ev’ry glove that laid him down/ And cut him till he cried out, in his anger and his shame/ ‘I am leaving, I am leaving,’ but the fighter still remains.”
Simon ultimately returned to the stage for a third encore and further paid tribute to Ali with a poignant rendition of “The Sound of Silence”.