Neil Portnow, Ken Ehrlich and Recording Academy Chair George J. Flanigen IV at "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!" in 2011
Photo: Lester Cohen/WireImage.com
AEG Ehrlich Ventures To Produce 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Longtime music and television producer Ken Ehrlich, and his production company AEG Ehrlich Ventures, will produce the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards, and continues a long-standing tradition in his role as executive producer of Music's Biggest Night, it was announced today by The Recording Academy. In addition, Ehrlich and AEG Ehrlich Ventures will continue producing "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music's Biggest Night," a one-hour live music special that announces nominations in several categories as well as features performances by past GRAMMY winners and/or nominees.
"Ken's expertise and vision are matched by his vast knowledge and genuine love of music, and these qualities have made him an outstanding producer and the executive producer of the GRAMMY Awards for more than 30 years now," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "As the creator of our signature 'GRAMMY Moments,' he has continued to raise the bar on the content, quality, and production value of our annual telecast. We couldn't be more pleased to continue our long-standing partnership and, more importantly, I am proud to call him my good friend."
Additionally, Ehrlich and his company produced the recent "We Will Always Love You: A GRAMMY Salute To Whitney Houston" special that aired on CBS earlier this month; "My Night At The GRAMMYs," a two-hour special in 2007 that highlighted the top 25 GRAMMY Moments as voted by fans, and included artists' stories behind those performances; as well as "A Death In The Family: The Show Must Go On," a mini-documentary about the 36 hours leading up to the 54th GRAMMY Awards that aired online earlier this year.
"There is no relationship in our industry that I treasure more than the 33-year association I've had with The Recording Academy, and the prospect of extending that into the future is a true joy," said Ehrlich. "The GRAMMY Awards now enjoys a unique position in both the music and television communities, and I'm proud of the warm and collaborative relationship that has existed between my company and The Academy and, in particular, Neil Portnow. I know our mutual goal is to continue to elevate the art of music, and to recognize the excellence of its creators through the annual telecast as well as other GRAMMY-branded projects."
From his earliest days in television as the producer/creator of the award-winning public television series "Soundstage," Ehrlich has continually been on the cutting edge of live music and television programming. As the creator of the "GRAMMY Moment" — unique, signature duets and group performances on the annual GRAMMY Awards telecast — he has coordinated remarkable artist pairings including: Eminem and Elton John; Prince and Beyoncé; Jay-Z, Paul McCartney and Linkin Park; Melissa Etheridge and Joss Stone; the Gorillaz (holographic) and Madonna; Chick Corea and Foo Fighters; Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and Joe Walsh; the Avett Brothers, Bob Dylan and Mumford & Sons; and the very first "GRAMMY Moment" with Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand, who performed "You Don't Bring Me Flowers."
In his more than 35 years as a producer, he has worked on numerous awards shows and live events and introduced innovative concepts for network, cable, and syndication shows, including: the Emmy Awards (five telecasts), the MTV Movie Awards (which he created in 1992), the MTV European Music Awards, the Latin GRAMMY Awards, the Alma Awards, "VH1 Divas," "Fashion Rocks," "Women Rock: Girls With Guitars," and many others. He also has produced dozens of artist specials for broadcast and cable networks, including shows with Christina Aguilera, Eric Clapton, Eagles, Aretha Franklin, Faith Hill, Barry Manilow, Ricky Martin, 'N Sync, Paul Simon, and dozens of others. In 2007 he was honored by the Producers Guild of America with its Visionary Award, and beginning in 2010 he began executive producing music specials for the "In Performance At The White House" PBS series, including a special celebrating the music of the Civil Rights movement (featuring Bob Dylan's first appearance ever at the White House), and a blues special that featured performances by Buddy Guy, B.B. King and Mick Jagger (also marking the latter's first time at the White House).
Ehrlich's first GRAMMY show was the 22nd Annual GRAMMY Awards in 1980 and since then the annual telecast has been nominated for 60 Emmy Awards in a number of categories and has won 19 Emmys. For the past four years, the GRAMMY Awards telecast has garnered increased ratings year over year, and this year's 54th GRAMMY Awards attracted 39.9 million viewers, the largest GRAMMY audience since 1984 and the second largest in history. The telecast was also the biggest social event in the history of television at that time, drawing 13 million social media comments with the conversation on Twitter reaching a record high at 160,341 tweets per minute during the live telecast.
The road to Music's Biggest Night begins with "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!," which takes place live for the first time ever at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday, Dec. 5, and will be broadcast in HDTV and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network from 10–11 p.m. ET/PT (9 p.m. Central) — and culminates with the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards, live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, and broadcast on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT.