Salt-N-Pepa, Talking Heads, Lionel Hampton Among Special Merit Honorees

Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Marilyn Horne, and Selena will also be recognized by the Academy.

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Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Salt-N-Pepa, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Lionel Hampton, and Talking Heads are among the newly-announced honorees in the Recording Academy’s 2021 Special Merit Awards. Those honored will be recognized at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards on January 31, 2021.

The full list of Lifetime Achievement Award honorees includes hip-hop pioneers Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five; jazz figurehead Lionel Hampton; prolific opera singer Marilyn Horne; pioneering female hip-hop act Salt-N-Pepa; “Queen of Tejano” Selena; and new wave art-pop pacesetters Talking Heads.

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Prolific, sought-after engineer Ed Cherney, jazz giant Benny Golson, and star producer-engineer-artist Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds are named as the Trustees Award honorees; digital technology influencer Daniel Weiss is the Technical Grammy Award recipient. Given existing coronavirus restrictions, more details about the special award presentation event are to be announced at a later date.

Harvey Mason Jr., interim president/CEO of the Recording Academy, says: “As we welcome the new class of special merit award honorees, it gives us a chance to reward and recognize the influence they’ve had in the music community regardless of genre.

“As a music creator and music lover, I am grateful that we are able to look back at our influences and see the impact that they have made on our community. In a year where music has helped keep us together, I look forward to honoring this iconic group of music creators.”

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 Academy’s producers and engineers wing advisory council and chapter committees, and ratified by the Academy’s Trustees. The award is presented to individuals and companies who have made contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording industry.

Listen to the best of Salt-N-Pepa on Apple Music and Spotify.

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