Doug Morris, recipient of the 2010 President’s Merit Award
The Academy, Clive Davis To Present 2010 Pre-GRAMMY Gala
The Recording Academy and Clive Davis will continue the tradition of the annual Pre-GRAMMY Gala. This exclusive celebration — attended by artists and industry VIPs in music, film and television and featuring special musical performances — will take place on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., the evening before the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards.
As part of the evening's festivities, the 2010 GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons will honor Universal Music Group Worldwide Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Morris. The Academy will present Morris with the President's Merit Award in recognition of his significant contributions to the music industry and the impact his efforts have had on music and the business of music. Past recipients of the GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons President's Merit Award include Clive Davis, Ahmet Ertegun, Mo Ostin, Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, and Berry Gordy.
"We are delighted to be continuing the tradition of the Pre-GRAMMY Gala that Clive began 30 years ago, and to be partnering with him again in what truly is a magical evening of music and memories," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "This year, we are humbled to honor another music industry great in Doug Morris, who has had a profound impact on the music business throughout his dynamic and rich career. With his creative vision and digital strategies, he continues to explore and shape innovative new ways to bring great artists and their music to fans around the globe, while being a staunch advocate of artists' rights."
A graduate of Columbia University, Morris began his music career as a songwriter. He wrote the Chiffons' 1966 hit "Sweet Talkin' Guy" and produced such hit records as Brownville Station's "Smokin' In The Boys Room." He launched his own label called Big Tree Records, which was acquired by Atlantic Records in 1978 and would mark the beginning of a 17-year successful run with Warner Music Group. In 1980, he was appointed president of Atlantic Records, and developed co-venture deals with such renowned labels as Interscope, Matador and Rhino. In 1994, he was appointed president and COO of Warner Music U.S., and under his strategic leadership established Atlantic Nashville, launched EastWest Records, and created A*Vision Entertainment.
Continuing his legacy as a music industry leader, Morris began his tenure with Universal Music Group when he was appointed chairman and CEO in 1995. Under his direction, the label has grown to become the world's largest music company, evolving from a record company into a full-fledged music entertainment company. Morris' digital strategies have led to the monetization of online music videos and numerous direct-to-consumer initiatives both online and mobile — all of which have helped position Universal Music Group as the industry's digital music leader. Most recently, Morris created Vevo, the new premium music video and entertainment service powered by YouTube, which will be launching Dec. 8. Morris has also worked with some of the most popular and influential artists over the past four decades including Mariah Carey, Jay-Z, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Nicks, the Rolling Stones, and U2.
Morris serves on the board of directors of CBS Corporation and Activision Blizzard. He also serves on the board of directors of the Robin Hood Foundation, an organization that targets poverty in New York City by finding and funding the most effective programs and partnering with them to maximize results. He also serves on the board for the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a not-for-profit research and education institution that is at the forefront of efforts in molecular biology and genetics to generate knowledge that will yield better diagnostics and treatments for cancer and neurological diseases. He received the City of Hope's Spirit of Life Award in 2008.
The Pre-GRAMMY Gala is part of the GRAMMY Week series of events, culminating with Music's Biggest Night. The 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards will take place on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). For updates and breaking news, please visit The Recording Academy’s social networks on Twitter and Facebook.