Velvet Underground Given Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award - Rolling Stone
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Velvet Underground, Sly Stone to Receive Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

Nina Simone, Charley Pride and Jimmie Rodgers among Recording Academy’s 2017 honorees


The Velvet Underground, Sly Stone and Nina Simone are among the artists receiving the Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2017.

Michael Ochs Archives

The Velvet Underground, Sly Stone and Nina Simone are among the artists who will be awarded the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2017, the organization behind the Grammys announced Monday.

Gospel singer Shirley Caesar, jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal, country singer Charley Pride and “Father of Country Music” Jimmie Rodgers will also receive Lifetime Achievement Awards as part of the Grammys’ Special Merit Awards.

“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,” said the Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow said in a statement. “These exceptionally inspiring figures are being honored as legendary performers, creative architects, and technical visionaries. Their outstanding accomplishments and passion for their respective crafts have created a timeless legacy.

Producer Thom Bell and record execs Mo Ostin and Ralph S. Peer will be honored with the Trustees Award.

In honoring the Velvet Underground, the Recording Academy wrote, “Despite a relatively brief lifespan and limited commercial success, the Velvet Underground are now recognized as one of the most influential rock bands of all time. Comprising Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, and Maureen ‘Moe’ Tucker, the band was, perhaps, ahead of their time, both visually and sonically. Often dubbed the quintessential proto-punk band, they’ve continued to be the benchmark for countless modern-rock movements over the past 50 years.”

Stone was credited by the Recording Academy as playing “a critical role in the development of soul, funk, rock, and psychedelia.”

In addition to revealing this year’s honorees, the Recording Academy announced that would publish a book titled A Grammy Salute To Music Legends, which collects two decades of artist-written tributes to the Special Merit Awards honorees. Among the artists that penned tributes for the book include Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea, Ice Cube, Miranda Lambert, Queen’s Brian May, Dolly Parton, Patti Smith and more.


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