The Recording Academy® will honor country music legend Charley Pride at its 2017 Special Merit Awards with an awards ceremony and live tribute concert on Tuesday, July 11, 2017, at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award honorees also include Shirley Caesar, Ahmad Jamal, Jimmie Rodgers, Nina Simone, Sly Stone, and the Velvet Underground. Led by GRAMMY®-winning industry icon Paul Shaffer as musical director, the tribute concert will feature rare performances by honorees and never-seen renditions by those they’ve inspired. Currently scheduled to appear are past GRAMMY® nominee Andra Day, who will be honoring Simone; 12-time GRAMMY winner Kirk Franklin, who will pay tribute to Caesar; six-time GRAMMY winner Randy Newman, who will honor Ostin; and two-time GRAMMY winner Dwight Yoakam, who will salute Rodgers. Additional performers will be announced shortly. Tickets for the event will be on sale via Ticketmaster beginning Monday, June 5, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. EST.
Additional Special Merit Awards honorees to be celebrated include Thom Bell, Mo Ostin, and Ralph Peer, who are this year’s Trustees Award honorees, and Alan Dower Blumlein, who is the Technical GRAMMY® Award recipient. Also being honored is Keith Hancock, this year’s recipient of the Music Educator Award™.
“We are thrilled to once again partner with THIRTEEN Productions and PBS to bring our ‘GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends’ event to life in an extraordinary fashion,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy. “We look forward to celebrating the exceptional contributions and accomplishments of our honorees at New York City’s famed Beacon Theatre, and the event serves as the perfect kickoff to the exciting lead up to the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards®, which will also take place in The Big Apple for the first time in 15 years.”
Now in its second year, the “GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends™” event will be produced in partnership with THIRTEEN as part of the “Great Performances” series on PBS, set to air later this year. Previously held during GRAMMY Week, this is the second year the Recording Academy has celebrated the Special Merit Awards with a stand-alone event and musical tribute. In addition to the tribute concert, special celebrity guests will present recipients their award statues and guests will enjoy never-before-seen video packages celebrating each of the honorees’ contributions to the music industry and our cultural heritage.
A production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, “GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends” will be written by David Wild and directed for television by David Horn, with Mitch Owgang as producer, and David Horn and Neil Portnow as executive producers.
The Lifetime Achievement Award honors performers who have made contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording, while the Trustees Award recognizes such contributions in areas other than performance. Both awards are determined by a vote of the Recording Academy’s National Board of Trustees. Technical GRAMMY Award recipients are determined by vote of the Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing® Advisory Council and Chapter Committees. The award is presented to individuals and companies who have made contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field.