The Recording Academy will host a Special Merit Award ceremony in February ahead of the 65th Annual Grammy Awards to honor the recipients of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Awards. The Supremes, Nirvana, Nile Rodgers, Slick Rick, Ma Rainey, Bobby McFerrin, and Heart members Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson have been announced as the show’s 2023 honorees.
“The Academy is proud to celebrate this diverse slate of influential music people spanning numerous genres and crafts as our 2023 Special Merit Awards honorees,” Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, shared in a statement. The Special Merit Award ceremony will also see the distribution of the Trustees Award, Technical Grammy Award, and Best Song For Social Change Award. The awards will be presented in their own separate ceremony for the first time since 2020.
“Each creator on this list has made an impact on our industry — from technical to creative achievements — representing the breadth of music’s diverse community,” Mason Jr. continued. “We’re excited to celebrate this group of legends next month that continues to inspire and shape the music world.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to artists who “have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording,” according to the Recording Academy. As the Supremes receive the honor, Diana Ross becomes the first woman to receive the award twice, once as part of a group and once as a solo artist. She first earned the honor on her own in 2012. She joins the Beatles Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and George Harrison, and the Weaves singer Pete Seeger as the only double honorees.
Ross received a Grammy nod in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category for Thank You, her 25th studio album and first in 15 years. The Supremes members Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard will be honored posthumously, as will Ma Rainey and Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, with Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic accepting for the band.
The 2023 Special Merit Award ceremony will be held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles on Feb. 4. The 65th Annual Grammy Awards is scheduled to take place the following day.