Al Schmitt at the 56th GRAMMY Awards show
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Remembering Al Schmitt, 20-Time GRAMMY-Winning Producer, Engineer And Recording Academy P&E Wing Co-Founder
Schmitt's death on the afternoon of April 26 was confirmed by his family.
"The world has lost a much loved and respected extraordinary individual, who led an extraordinary life," the family shared in a statement to GRAMMY.com. "The most honored and awarded recording producer/engineer of all time, his parting words at any speaking engagement were, 'Please be kind to all living things.'"
Chris Finney, Dr. John and Al Schmitt at a P&E Wing event in New Orleans
The man born Albert Harry Schmitt on April 17, 1930, in Brooklyn, New York, was an influential figure and leader inside and outside the studio. He had 36 GRAMMY nominations and took home 20 GRAMMY Awards throughout his career —winning GRAMMYs in six consecutive decades since his first win in 1963 for Mancini's Hatari soundtrack.
His last win in 2014 was in the Best Surround Sound Album category for Paul McCartney's Live Kisses. In 2006, the Recording Academy honored him with a Trustees Award.
Outside of the studio, Schmitt helped found the Recording Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing. In 2021, the P&E Wing celebrated its 20th anniversary.
Harvey Mason Jr., the Recording Academy Chair & Interim President/CEO, honored Schmitt's legacy and work for the Recording Academy.
"An ingenious producer and engineer, a 20-time GRAMMY® winner, a Recording Academy® Trustees Award recipient, and so much more, Al Schmitt was a true legend," Mason said. "His incredible work in the studio brought us iconic pieces of work from many artists, including Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, and Diana Krall, leaving an indelible mark on the recording industry. We are forever grateful for his contributions as a founding member of the Recording Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing® and to the art and craft of recorded music. We send our love and condolences to his family, friends and collaborators."
His friends and family will remember Schmitt for love, friendship and legacy.
"Al will be sorely missed. He was a man who loved deeply, and the friendships, love and admiration he received in return enriched his life and truly mattered to him. A light has dimmed in the world, but we all learned so much from him in his time on earth, and are so very grateful to have known him," his family said.
Schmitt is survived by his wife Lisa, his five children, eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.