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Black Sabbath, George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic & More To Be Honored At GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends

George Clinton

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Black Sabbath, George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic & More To Be Honored At GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends

Additional honorees are Billy Eckstine, Donny Hathaway, Julio Iglesias, Sam & Dave, and Dionne Warwick

GRAMMYs/Apr 12, 2019 - 05:38 am

The Recording Academy will honor its 2019 Special Merit Awards recipients with "GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends," an awards ceremony and live tribute concert on Saturday, May 11, at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

This year's Lifetime Achievement Award honorees are Black Sabbath, George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic, Billy Eckstine, Donny Hathaway, Julio Iglesias, Sam & Dave, and Dionne Warwick.

Lou Adler, Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson, and Johnny Mandel are Trustees Award honorees; and Saul Walker is the Technical GRAMMY Award recipient.

Also being honored is Jeffery Redding, this year's recipient of the Music Educator Award presented by the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum

Led by GRAMMY-nominated industry icon Greg Phillinganes as musical director, the tribute concert will feature rare performances by honorees and never-seen renditions by those they've inspired. Currently scheduled to appear are Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Clinton; GRAMMY winner Bootsy Collins, who will salute Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic; five-time GRAMMY winner Lalah Hathaway and Kenya Hathaway, who will pay tribute to their father Donny; past Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Johnny Mathis, who will honor Warwick; Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Sam Moore; two-time GRAMMY winner Gregory Porter, who will pay tribute to Eckstine; Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Simpson; past GRAMMY nominee Snoop Dogg, who will salute Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic; and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Warwick.

Presenters for the evening will include GRAMMY winners Cheech & Chong. Additional performers and presenters will be announced shortly. Tickets for the event will be on sale via a Ticketmaster pre-sale, beginning today at 10 a.m. PT. The password to access the pre-sale is LEGENDS.

The Recording Academy will produce "GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends" in partnership with THIRTEEN as part of the "Great Performances" series on PBS, set to air later this year.

Previously held during GRAMMY Week, this is the fourth year the Recording Academy has celebrated the Special Merit Awards with a stand-alone TV event and musical tribute. In addition to the tribute concert, special celebrity guests will present recipients their award statues and guests will enjoy never-before-seen video packages celebrating each of the honorees' contributions to the music industry and our cultural heritage.

Dionne Warwick, Donny Hathaway & More To Receive Special Merit Awards

The Making Of Black Sabbath's "God Is Dead?"
Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

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The Making Of Black Sabbath's "God Is Dead?"

Bassist Geezer Butler reveals the genesis behind the band's GRAMMY-winning song

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

(The Making Of GRAMMY-Winning Recordings … series presents firsthand accounts of the creative process behind some of music's biggest recordings. The series' current installments present in-depth insight and details about recordings that won 56th GRAMMY Awards.)

(As told to Bryan Reesman)

It's really weird with this band. Time just seems to fly and you don't really notice the parts in between. We're always keeping in touch with each other, so when we got together to [record 13] it felt like a natural thing to do. We tried to do it in 2001, but it felt forced and we abandoned it back then. This time it was a now or never kind of thing, and we just got on with it.

Tony [Iommi] came up with most of the music, and then we all worked together to arrange it. Ozzy [Osbourne] always jams along to us, and he came up with the title "God Is Dead?" He remembered the [1966] Time magazine [cover story titled] "Is God Dead?" — but he remembered it as "God Is Dead." I had a mini-argument with him about it. I looked it up online and showed him that it was "Is God Dead?" Then I read the Nietzsche philosophy about it. [Editor's note: "God is dead" is a widely quoted statement by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.]

I wrote it about a person who thought it was completely revolting to think that somebody would say that, and it sticks in his head and he keeps hearing it in his mind. So he turns violent in the end and sets out to murder everybody. It was also inspired by the shootings that were going on at the time in the States. People were saying that "God told them to do it," and stuff like that.

That was one of the first songs we started writing together, so that probably took the longest to [finish]. There was a lot of work before we got to the studio, and we knew that was a good song. The lyrics were written the night before recording them. The only lyrics that I had written [prior to recording] were "Dear Father" like a year before we went into the studio, and that was because of all the priests being exposed, no pun intended, on the news.

The trouble with me is if you give me a year to do something, I'll do it on the 364th day. That's the way I work. The more pressure, the more I come out with. If you give me loads of time to do something, I can't do it. If it wasn't for [producer] Rick Rubin insisting that I do the lyrics, I probably wouldn't have done them anyway.

Rick Rubin brought [Rage Against The Machine/The Last Internationale drummer] Brad Wilk in to do the album. I thought he was great. He auditioned for like a week, and at first we thought he wasn't going to work. We did a couple of old [Black] Sabbath [songs] like "War Pigs" and "Iron Man," and he just gradually fell into it. He was really nervous at first, and we really didn't communicate that much with him. We said, "Rick, you picked him so you bloody get him up to speed." So he did. He went in and guided him on what direction to do the drumming.

It was really unexpected [to win a GRAMMY] because when you're doing an album you don't think about awards, especially our band. It was a good surprise.

(At the 56th GRAMMY Awards, Black Sabbath won Best Metal Performance for "God Is Dead?" — marking the second win for the band in that category. Co-written by Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne, the song also earned a nomination for Best Rock Song. It's featured on the band's 2013 album 13, which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and earned a nomination for Best Rock Album.)

(Lifelong metal fan Bryan Reesman wrote the liner notes for the 2008 reissue of Black Sabbath's 1981 album Mob Rules. He contributes to GRAMMY.com, Playboy, Inked, American Way, and The Costco Connection, among other outlets.)

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Why A World Without Herbie Hancock Is Unimaginable

Chick Corea describes how the legendary GRAMMY winner has created a musical touchstone for every future culture to aspire to

GRAMMYs/Oct 7, 2016 - 09:05 pm

("GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends" — a special all-star concert honoring The Recording Academy's 2016 Special Merit Awards recipients — will air Oct. 14 from 9–11:30 p.m. on PBS. Herbie Hancock, who received a 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from The Recording Academy, will be among the artists saluted.)

Herbie Hancock was on the New York City jazz scene making some young musical noise a few years before I arrived in 1959, fresh out of high school in Chelsea, Mass.

I remember seeing him live for the first time when I went to the old Birdland at 52nd St. and Broadway. It was a Monday night. Mondays were the jam session nights at this venerable old club, and there was Herbie onstage with Joe Chambers and some horn players sitting in. I distinctly remember being amazed by the free and creative approach he and the band were taking with the standards they were playing. They were changing the rules and not asking for a license to do it. Right away, I connected with Herbie's sense of adventure and musical exploration, which I myself had just begun realizing.

The amazing thing about this adventure of his is that for a whole lifetime the adventure hasn't stopped. Miles set a powerful example for all of us — and Herbie was an integral part of that groundbreaking quintet that changed the face of jazz and music in general. But he has taken it several steps further by making full use of every new keyboard and sonic possibility, bridging new musical forms to combine the richness of our music’s past with the unknown of the new creative ideas from his seemingly infinite imagination. With his ongoing creativeness and successes in movie scores and both pop and classical music, he's certainly never been afraid to explore and to change — and does so frequently and unabashedly.

From his first solo albums Takin' Off, Empyrean Isles and Maiden Voyage, to his reach-out-to-the-world collaborations such as Possibilities, River: The Joni Letters and The Imagine Project, his ever-evolving musical creativeness continues to inspire and soothe souls the world over.

Ever since I've known Herbie, he has always inspired me and the music world to be free and reach for greater heights of accomplishment. His validation of the artist's imagination and his demonstration of its ultimate purpose through the amazing music he has created — and continues to create are a touchstone for every future culture to aspire to.

The world without Herbie Hancock is unimaginable. His contributions to music and to humanity on this planet are immeasurable. Congratulations, Herbie. You are simply the best!

(A 22-time GRAMMY winner, Chick Corea's extensive discography includes 1978’s An Evening With Herbie Hancock & Chick Corea: In Concert, a live album featuring both artists playing acoustic piano. In 2015 Corea released Two, a collaboration with GRAMMY winner Béla Fleck.)

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Marc Anthony Salutes Celia Cruz

GRAMMY winner says the legacy of the Queen of Salsa will continue to impact generations to come

GRAMMYs/Oct 7, 2016 - 09:05 pm

("GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends" — a special all-star concert honoring The Recording Academy's 2016 Special Merit Awards recipients — will air Oct. 14 from 9–11:30 p.m. on PBS. Celia Cruz, who received a 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from The Recording Academy, will be among the artists saluted.)

I remember listening to Celia Cruz's music blasting out of the windows in my neighborhood in East Harlem, New York, long before I started doing music professionally. By that time she was one of the greatest living legends of our time.  

My first interaction with Celia as a salsa singer was when I recorded my first album, Otra Nota. We were part of the same record label. From the moment we met, she welcomed me with open arms and became my professional godmother, always supportive and so protective of me.

I'll never forget the first time I was able to share the stage with her. I was so nervous! At that time I did not have a lot of experience performing on the big stages of the world, and yet there I was next to her and in the company of all of these great musicians. That night she embraced me in a very special way — the way only those who had the good fortune of being close to her presence could experience.

Her mastery of voice and song and her powerful transformation onstage was one of her many qualities. She possessed a voice like no other and an undeniable way of conducting herself in front of her audience and her fellow musicians. A lady in a male-dominated world who handled her career with consistency, discipline and admirable class.  

She was so into details. Not even her intense work schedule and touring demands around the world would let her forget her friends and family's birthdays, and her Christmas cards with her personal touch were a yearly event. We all wondered how in the world this woman, with so many responsibilities as a worldwide performer and wife, found the time to pause and devote personal attention to so many of us. And indeed she did. She also had a great sense of humor.  

Celia took her responsibility on the stage very seriously. It was amazing to see her sitting backstage quietly and serenely before it was her time to go on. From the instant that orchestra played the first chord she became this gigantic presence. She never, ever disappointed her audience.

Her legacy is so vast there is not enough space on this page, but the fact remains that her contribution to music will continue to have an impact worldwide for generations to come.

(A two-time GRAMMY winner and five-time Latin GRAMMY winner, Marc Anthony will be honored as the 2016 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year on Nov. 16. In 2003 Anthony co-hosted “¡Celia Cruz: Azúcar!,” an all-star tribute to Cruz featuring performances by Anthony, Gloria Estefan, José Feliciano, Paulina Rubio, and Arturo Sandoval, among others.)


Dwight Yoakam, Andra Day to salute GRAMMY Legends in New York

Photos: Getty Images/WireImage.com

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Dwight Yoakam, Andra Day to salute GRAMMY Legends in New York

"GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends" taping to feature performances honoring Sly Stone, Nina Simone, Charley Pride, and other 2017 Recording Academy Special Merit Awards recipients

GRAMMYs/Jun 2, 2017 - 05:00 pm

GRAMMY winners Kirk Franklin, Randy Newman and Dwight Yoakam and GRAMMY nominee Andra Day will pay tribute to Sly Stone, Nina Simone and Charley Pride, among others, at "GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends," an awards ceremony and live tribute concert honoring The Recording Academy's 2017 Special Merit Awards recipients.

The event will tape on July 11 at The Beacon Theatre in New York, the host city of the 60th GRAMMY Awards.

Purchase tickets for "GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends"

Led by GRAMMY-winner Paul Shaffer as musical director, the tribute concert will feature rare performances by honorees and never-seen renditions by artists they've inspired. Additional performers will be announced.

"GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends" will recognize 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award honorees Shirley Caesar, Ahmad Jamal, Pride, Jimmie Rodgers, Simone, Stone, and the Velvet Underground, as well as Trustees Award recipients Thom Bell, Mo Ostin and Ralph Peer. Also being recognized are Alan Dower Blumlein and Keith Hancock, the respective 2017 Technical GRAMMY Award and Music Educator Award recipients.

In addition to the tribute concert, special celebrity guests will present recipients their award statues and guests will enjoy never-before-seen video packages celebrating each of the honorees' contributions to our cultural heritage.

Now in its second year, "GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends" will be produced in partnership with PBS' "Great Performances" series, and will air on the network later this year.

More GRAMMY legends: Buy A GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends book