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Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 Honorees To Be Celebrated With The Return Of The Special Merit Awards Ceremony And 64th GRAMMY Nominees Reception
Editor's Note: The 2022 GRAMMYs Awards show, officially known as the 64th GRAMMY Awards, has been rescheduled to Sunday, April 3, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The below article was updated on Tuesday, Jan. 18, to reflect the new show date and location.
The Recording Academy announced today that the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award honorees will be celebrated with the return of the Special Merit Awards Ceremony and 64th GRAMMY Nominees Reception event, which will be held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022. The recipient of the 2022 Music Educator Award, presented by the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum, will also be honored at this event.
The previously announced Lifetime Achievement Award recipients include Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Lionel Hampton, Marilyn Horne, Salt-N-Pepa, Selena, and Talking Heads. Ed Cherney, Benny Golson and Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds were named Trustees Award honorees; and Daniel Weiss is the Technical GRAMMY Award recipient. Given the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, honorees were unable to attend the 63rd GRAMMY Awards, nor receive in-person recognition during the show, but were acknowledged in the telecast. Bonnie Raitt, who was unable to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award last year due to COVID restrictions, joins the list of previously announced 2021 honorees.
"We are so excited to celebrate the 2021 honorees at the 64th GRAMMYs to ensure they get the celebration they deserve," Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. said. "With the strict COVID protocols in place for the 63rd show, we were not able to properly and fairly honor our Special Merit Award honorees as we have done in past years. Before we induct a new class, we must come together to recognize this group of iconic creators who have paved the way not only in music, but also within our culture."
Formed in the South Bronx of New York City in 1978, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five are among the pioneers of hip-hop. The group's use of turntablism, break-beat DJing, choreographed stage routines, and lyricism was a significant force in the early development of the genre.
Lionel Hampton* started his career as a drummer in Chicago in the 1920s before he played the vibraphone with Louis Armstrong. In the 1930s, he broke barriers with the Benny Goodman Quartet, one of the first integrated jazz bands in America. In the 1940s, he formed his own Lionel Hampton Orchestra, which became one of the longest-running orchestras in jazz history.
Marilyn Horne is one of the most prolific opera singers of our time. Over her six-decade career, she has garnered numerous honors, including four GRAMMY Awards, a Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts, a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters from France's ministry of culture, and a National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors.
Bonnie Raitt is a singer, songwriter and guitarist whose unique style blends blues, R&B, rock, and pop. After 20 years as a cult favorite, she broke through to the mainstream in the early '90s with her GRAMMY Award-winning albums Nick of Time and Luck of the Draw. Raitt's widely acclaimed 2012 independent release Slipstream was one of the top-selling independent albums and earned Raitt her 10th GRAMMY Award (Best Americana Album). In 2016, Raitt released her GRAMMY-nominated album Dig In Deep, and in 2022, she will release her 21st studio album, Just Like That…, the third release on her Redwing Records label.
As one of the first all-women rap groups, Salt-N-Pepa broke down a number of doors for women in hip-hop. Formed in Queens, New York, in 1985, the group crafted hits such as "Push It," "Shoop," "Whatta Man," and the GRAMMY-winning "None Of Your Business." They were also one of the first rap artists to cross over, laying the groundwork for hip-hop's widespread popularity in the early '90s.
The Queen of Tejano, Selena* became a household name not long after her career took off in the 1980s. Her 1993 album Live won Best Mexican-American Album at the 36th GRAMMY Awards, marking the first time a female Tejano artist won the category. Though her life was tragically cut short in 1995, Selena's crossover album, the posthumously released Dreaming Of You, sold 175,000 units on the day of its release, a then-record for a female vocalist.
Talking Heads, formed in 1975 in New York City, helped pioneer new wave music by blending elements of punk, rock, art pop, funk, and world music with an avant-garde aesthetic. In 2002, 11 years after the group disbanded, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Ed Cherney* was one of the most sought-after engineers in the industry. His four-decade career began as an assistant engineer working with Bruce Swedien and Quincy Jones on Michael Jackson's Off The Wall. Cherney went on to record, mix and engineer albums for artists such as the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, and Fleetwood Mac, among others. A four-time GRAMMY winner, he also co-founded the Recording Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing.
Benny Golson is an international jazz legend who has composed more than 300 works over his 70-year career. He has composed and arranged music for artists such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, and Lionel Hampton, and is the only living artist to write eight jazz standards. His prolific writing also includes scores for many hit TV series and films.
Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds is a poignant tunesmith, prolific producer, superstar recording artist, and revolutionary label owner. An 11-time GRAMMY winner, including a record four Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical awards, Babyface has been instrumental in the careers of artists such as Toni Braxton, Usher and TLC and has crafted hundreds of pop and R&B hits with artists including Whitney Houston, the Whispers, Brandy, Boyz II Men, Madonna, and Eric Clapton.
Daniel Weiss is one of the true pioneers of digital technology. In 1985, he founded Weiss Engineering Ltd. in Zurich, Switzerland. The company has designed and manufactured groundbreaking digital audio equipment for mastering studios, including the IBIS digital mixing console and the ultra-high quality Gambit Series digital products.
The Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates performers who have made outstanding contributions of artistic significance to the field of recording, while the Trustees Award honors such contributions in areas other than performance. The Recording Academy's National Board of Trustees determines the honorees of both awards. Technical GRAMMY Award recipients are voted on by the Recording Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing Advisory Council and Chapter Committees and are ratified by the Recording Academy's Trustees. The award is presented to individuals and companies who have made contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording industry.
*Denotes posthumous honoree.