The Recording Academy announced on Monday that Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Lionel Hampton, Marilyn Horne, Salt-N- Pepa, Selena and the Talking Heads will be recipients of the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Awards. The presentations will take place during the 63rd annual Grammy Awards next month.
The Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates performers who have made outstanding contributions of artistic significance to the field of recording.
Other 2021 Special Merit Awards to be presented at the Jan. 31 ceremony include the Trustee Award to Ed Cherney, Benny Golson and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, as well as a Technical Grammy Award to Daniel Weiss.
The Trustees Award recognizes contributions in areas other than performance, and Technical Grammy Award recipients are individuals and companies that have made contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording industry.
“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,” Recording Academy Interim President and CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said. “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.”
About the honorees:
–Formed in the South Bronx in 1978, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five are hip-hop pioneers known for their creative use of turn tables, break- beat deejaying, choreographed stage routines and lyricism.
–Lionel Hampton was a drummer in Chicago 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 the 1940s, he formed the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, one of the longest running orchestras in jazz history.
–Opera singer Marilyn Horne has garnered numerous honors, including four Grammy Awards, the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts and National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors, over her six-decade career.
–Salt-N-Pepa, formed in Queens in 1985, was one of the first all- female rap groups, later crafting hits such as “Push It,” “Shoop,” “Whatta Man” and the Grammy-winning “None Of Your Business.”
–Selena’s 1993 album, Live!, won Best Mexican-American Album at the 36th annual Grammy Awards, marking the first time a female Tejano artist had won the category. Referred to as the “Queen of Tejano music,” Selena was shot and killed in March 1995 by the former manager of her chain of boutiques. Her posthumously-released “Dreaming Of You” sold 175,000 copies in the first 24 hours, a then record for a female vocalist.
–Formed in 1975 in New York City, Talking Heads pioneered new wave music by blending elements of multiple music genres. 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 throughout his four-decade career, which 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 founded the Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing.
–Benny Golson is an international jazz legend. He has composed more than 300 works over his 70-year career and arranged music for artists such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton. Golson is the only living artist to write eight jazz standards.
–Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds is an 11-time Grammy winner. As a producer, recording artist and label owner he 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 a pioneer of digital technology. In 1985, he founded Weiss Engineering Ltd. in Zurich, Switzerland. The company has designed and manufactured digital audio equipment for mastering studios, including the IBIS digital mixing console and the ultra-high quality Gambit Series digital products.
City News Service contributed to this report.