Donna Summer To Be Honored With Special Merit Award During 2024 Grammy Week

Gladys Knight, Laurie Anderson, N.W.A. and Tammy Wynette are among the other iconic artists receiving the award this year.

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Donna Summer - Photo: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

The Recording Academy’s Special Merit Awards Ceremony celebrating the 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award, Technical Grammy Award, and Best Song For Social Change Award recipients will return during this year’s Grammy Week on February 3, at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre.

Donna Summer, Laurie Anderson, the Clark Sisters, Gladys Knight, N.W.A, and Tammy Wynette are the 2024 Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award honorees. Peter Asher, DJ Kool Herc and Joel Katz are the Trustees Award recipients; Tom Kobayashi and Tom Scott are the Technical Grammy Award honorees; and “Refugee,” written by Gerald Eaton (a.k.a. Jarvis Church), K’naan and Steve McEwan, is being honored with the Best Song For Social Change Award.

“The Academy is honored to pay tribute to this year’s Special Merit Award recipients — a remarkable group of creators and industry professionals whose impact resonates with generations worldwide,” said Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy. “Their contributions to music span genres, backgrounds and crafts, reflecting the rich diversity that fuels our creative community. We look forward to honoring these music industry trailblazers next month as part of our week-long celebration leading up to Music’s Biggest Night.”

Donna Summer rocketed to international superstardom with her groundbreaking merger of R&B, soul, pop, funk, rock, disco, and avant-garde electronica, catapulting underground dance music out of the clubs of Europe and bringing it to the world. Summer holds the record with three consecutive double albums to hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts (the only solo artist to ever accomplish this), and first female artist to have four No. 1 singles in a 12-month period on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. A five-time Grammy winner and 18-time Grammy nominee, the much-missed artist was the first artist to win the Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female (1979, “Hot Stuff”) as well as the first-ever recipient of the new Grammy Category for Best Dance Recording (1997, “Carry On”). Summer was the first female artist to win Grammy Awards in four different genres: dance, gospel, rock, and R&B.

Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees: This Special Merit Award is presented by vote of the Recording Academy’s National Trustees to performers who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording. Legendary names such as Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Linda Ronstadt, Salt-N-Pepa, Black Sabbath and Miles Davis are among the previous recipients of the prestigious award.

Shop the best of Donna Summer’s discography on vinyl and more.



  1. Frank B

    January 5, 2024 at 5:36 pm

    Donna Summer! ICON for the ages! Now please add some decent links to her catalog on your site. Right now it links only to a disco compilation. Come on guys.

  2. Michael

    January 5, 2024 at 8:17 pm

    Congratulations to Donna Summer. They should have given her this recognition when she was alive.

  3. JC Ortiz

    January 5, 2024 at 8:26 pm

    Donna Summer , The Queen !
    This is so deserved and overdue !

  4. Philip Taylor

    January 8, 2024 at 12:59 pm

    Should have given her more awards when she was with us.

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