The Recording Academy and Hal Leonard Books have announced A GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends, a brand-new hardcover book collecting two decades of Special Merit Awards tributes from the GRAMMY Awards program book. The book is now available for purchase via the GRAMMY Store.
Each year, The Academy honors a handful of musical icons through its Special Merit Awards, which include the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY Award. One of the highlights of the GRAMMY program book is the Special Merit Awards section, in which legendary honorees are paid tribute via testimonials by noted artists and musicians. Others who have worked with the honorees, grew up as fans, or whose lives and careers were altered by the honorees' gravitational pull also contribute powerful testimonials within each program.
Until now, these appreciations have been seen and enjoyed nearly exclusively by those fortunate enough to attend the GRAMMY Awards ceremony. Available to the public for the first time, the honorees featured in A GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends have made extraordinary contributions to blues, classical, country, R&B, rock, rap, and other forms of music either as performers or behind the scenes as producers, engineers, songwriters, executives, or technical innovators. The collected tributes are sometimes touching, sometimes humorous and always inspiring.
In some cases, the relationship between the writer and legend is obvious (Quincy Jones honoring Michael Jackson or Miranda Lambert writing about Dolly Parton); in others the influence is perhaps surprising (Queen's Brian May paying tribute to Doris Day or Steven Van Zandt writing about Dean Martin). Sometimes the reverberations transcend music entirely, as when Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) writes about his friendship with the Grateful Dead. Additional honorees highlighted in the book include the Beatles; David Bowie; Earth, Wind & Fire; Leonard Cohen; Carole King; Run DMC; and Barbra Streisand.
David Konjoyan, the book's editor and Recording Academy Vice President of Creative Services, writes in his introduction: "As with other innovations, whether science-, technology- or business-related, none happen in a vacuum and all have deep reverberations. That's what this book is all about: the sources of those reverberations and the revelations of those who were impacted by them and filtered them into their own groundbreaking work."
For music fans of all kinds, the essays in A GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends offer a glimpse into how artists are personally affected by other artists, and the debt of gratitude, influence and inspiration they owe each other.