GRAMMY-winning folk pioneer and Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Pete Seeger died Jan. 27 of natural causes. He was 94. Born in New York to a musicologist father and violinist mother, Seeger's career was marked by his impact on the folk revival of the late '50s and early '60s, his use of music to promote social causes in the United States and his influence on fellow activists such as singer/songwriters Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. Seeger crafted numerous hits, including "If I Had A Hammer," which earned Peter, Paul And Mary two GRAMMY Awards in 1962, and "Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season)," which the Byrds took to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965. Seeger's seminal 1963 album We Shall Overcome was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 1999. That album later inspired Bruce Springsteen to release We Shall Overcome: The Pete Seeger Sessions, which earned a GRAMMY for Best Traditional Folk Album in 2006. Seeger's song "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" was inducted into the Hall in 2002. A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Seeger earned three GRAMMYs throughout his career, the most recent coming in 2010 for Best Musical Album For Children for Tomorrow's Children. At a ceremony in New York on Feb. 22, Seeger will be awarded the first-ever Woody Guthrie Prize, which honors artists who embody the spirit of the legendary folk singer/songwriter.
"Pete Seeger was a living history of America's music and conscience," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "His iconic songs … became the soundtrack of [the] '60s protest movement, helping to build a sense of community and capturing the heart and soul of our nation."