Grammys Honour Simone, Velvet Underground & More

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Nina Simone
Photo: David Redfern/Redferns

Nina Simone, the Velvet Underground, Sly Stone and country greats Jimmie Rodgers and Charley Pride are among those artists who will receive the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Awards, as part of the Grammys’ 2017 Special Merit Awards.

The Academy will also recognise gospel singer Shirley Caesar and jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal, while the Trustees Award will go to producer Thom Bell and record executives Mo Ostin and Ralph S. Peer. Last year’s Lifetime Achievement honourees were George Harrison, the Bee Gees, Pierre Boulez, Buddy Guy, Flaco Jiménez, the Louvin Brothers and Wayne Shorter. Stone’s recognition follows the recent news that Sly and the Family Stone’s ‘Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)’ will be among the 2017 inductees into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

“This year’s Special Merit Awards recipients comprise a prestigious group of diverse and influential creators who have crafted or contributed to some of the most distinctive recordings in music history,” says Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow.

“These exceptionally inspiring figures are being honoured as legendary performers, creative architects, and technical visionaries. Their outstanding accomplishments and passion for their respective crafts have created a timeless legacy.”

The Academy has additionally announced that it will publish a book, A Grammy Salute To Music Legends, which is a compilation of tributes written by artists to the winners of the Special Merit Award over the last two decades. It will contain testimonials written by such notables as Eric Clapton, Brian May of Queen, Dolly Parton, Elvis Costello, Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ice Cube, Miranda Lambert and Patti Smith.

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