From Chicago To Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Here's Who Was Honored At The 2020 GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends

Sister Rosetta Tharpe in 1967

Photo: David Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images


From Chicago To Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Here's Who Was Honored At The 2020 GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends

The Recording Academy's 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award recipients—Chicago, Roberta Flack, Isaac Hayes, Iggy Pop, John Prine, Public Enemy and Sister Rosetta Tharpe—all received honors during the celebratory, music-filled special

GRAMMYs/Oct 17, 2020 - 06:46 am

Tonight, Oct. 16, the Recording Academy celebrated the lifelong contributions of an incredibly talented, prolific group of artists and music professionals during Great Performances: GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends. Those celebrated included musical icons and 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award honorees ChicagoRoberta FlackIsaac HayesIggy PopJohn PrinePublic Enemy and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. But that's not all!

Longtime GRAMMY Awards show producer Ken Ehrlich, GRAMMY-winning film composer Philip Glass and music executive Frank Walker also received warm honors as the 2020 Trustees Award winners. Studio speaker pioneer George Augspurger was recognized with the Technical GRAMMY Award and middle school band teacher Mickey Smith Jr. won this year's Music Educator Award.

The special, hosted by the golden-voiced Jimmy Jam, also featured appearances from Brandi Carlile, Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom, Jr., Chris Isaak, Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, Cyndi Lauper, Earth, Wind & Fire's Philip Bailey, Sam & Dave's Sam Moore, Yola and Laurie Anderson, who each brought the honorees' music to life with moving tribute performances. 

The stellar performances and speeches were filmed safely from multiple locations, marking the first time the GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends has not been filmed in front of a live audience. In spite of the limitations, the unforgettable music and legacies of every honoree filled the program with plenty of shimmer, excitement and emotion. As Jam said during his opening segment, "Music is a source of solace and strength." Read on for a recap of the evening:

Roberta Flack

First up to perform was Nigerian-British GRAMMY, Tony and Emmy winning actor/singer Erivo, paying musical tribute to four-time GRAMMY-winning soul icon Flack. Erivo delivered a stunning, heartwrenching serenade of 1973 GRAMMYs Record Of The Year, "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." The tender love song was featured in Clint Eastwood's 1971 movie, Play Misty For Me, and gave the singer a wider fanbase.

"Roberta once said, 'See every opportunity as golden and keep your eyes on the prize, yours, not anybody else's,'" Erivo said before introducing her duet partner for the next song, fellow actor/singer and Flack fan, Odom, Jr. (of Hamilton fame).

The pair then sang another of Flack's GRAMMY-winning classics, "Where Is The Love," from the 1972 duet album with Donny Hathaway. Erivo and Odom, Jr. offered soul and chemistry—socially distanced, of course—from the famous Capitol Studios in Los Angeles. in Hollywood, Calif.

"Music is everything to me," Flack said during her acceptance speech. "Thank you for letting me into your hearts, and allowing my music it be a part of you. Together we have shared life's triumphs, sorrows, joys and dreams. All of it matters, each story in each heart. Challenge yourself to never give up."

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Powerhouse singer Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire—who took home their own Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2016—delivered the third epic cover of the evening: a soulful, romantic rendition of Chicago's GRAMMY-winning "If You Leave Me Now," complete with his iconic falsetto.

He was introduced by Chicago-born actor Joe Montanya, who also presented the award to the band's surviving members.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Born in Arkansas in 1915 into a family of gospel singers, cotton pickers and evangelists, Tharpe was the Godmother of Rock and Roll. Like so many pioneering Black women pushed to the margins of history, her impact on rock and gospel far exceeded the recognition she received during her lifetime. In recent years, Tharpe has finally started to earn more credit for her role in shaping a global sound—she directly influenced Elvis Presley and other revered male rock figures.

GRAMMY-nominated British soul/country singer/songwriter Yola delivered a rousing vocal performance of "Up Above My Head, I Hear Music In The Air" at the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. This was followed by amazing footage of Tharpe performing "Didn't It Rain" at a Manchester train station in 1964. From a church in Ireland, Rihannon Giddens presented her award to Tharpe's granddaughter Angela McCollum.

Iggy Pop

Before Detroit producer/bass player Don Was presented Michigan-born punk-rock icon Pop with his Lifetime Achievement Award, he interviewed punk/metal artist Henry Rollins about the influence the "Lust For Life" singer had on him.

"You simply couldn't take your eyes off him," Rollins noted, sharing his love for Pop's wild stage presence. The influential, ever-evolving singer accepted his award with gratitude for his fans, closing with a "punk on."

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Isaac Hayes

Next up for performances was 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award winner Moore, of soul duo Sam & Dave, who paid tribute to his friend and collaborator Hayes. The legendary "Black Moses" singer/songwriter/producer first began making his musical mark at Memphis' Stax Records in the '60s, where he wrote and produced a number of hits, including "Hold On I'm Coming," "Soul Man" and other memorable, successful records for Sam & Dave.

His deep musicality, legendary baritone vocals and soulful delivery made Hayes a successful solo artist as well. And with his GRAMMY- and Oscar-winning soundtrack/score for Shaft, he became the first Black person to win an Oscar in a non-acting role.

Moore sang a lively, joyful melody of Hayes-penned hits, filled with 100 percent soul: "I Thank You," "You Don't Know," "Soul Man," "You Got Me Hummin'" and "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby."

While introducing Moore, the evening's Emmy-winning music director Greg Phillinganes stated, "Isaac once said, 'There's many hurdles, so I just keep moving, just constantly redefining myself. That's how you stay in the race.' And he proved that quote well with his amazingly long career."

Hayes' award was accepted by his son Isaac Hayes III, who spoke to the connection between artist rights and racial equality, as well as the vital importance of voting.

Philip Glass

Baltimore-born Glass, one of the two 2020 Trustees Award recipients, has been composing and performing beloved operas, film scores, concert pieces and theater works for decades. Ever the expansive composer, he's also collaborated with major singer/songwriters like David Bowie and Paul Simon.

The next musical offering was delivered by Glass' longtime friend Anderson, an avant-garde artist, who played "Gee Whiz." They co-wrote the calming, experimental song together for a show at La MaMa theater in N.Y.C., in honor of Ellen Stewart, who founded the space in 1961. She accepted the award on her friend's behalf.

Frank Walker

The second Trustees Award recipient was Walker, a pioneering A&R executive at Colombia Records, born in rural New York in 1889. During his illustrious career, he discovered country stars Hank Williams, Bessie Smith and Blind Willie Johnson. He also temporarily left retirement to help launch MGM Records and sign Williams.

To celebrate Walker's contributions the music industry, crooner Isaak delivered a rendition of Williams' melancholic breakup anthem "Your Cheatin' Heart," from at RCA Studio A in Nashville with help from some talented friends.

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Public Enemy

In 1990, the epic protest anthem "Fight The Power" earned Public Enemy their first GRAMMY nomination, plus five more to date, as they continue to release hard-hitting, socially conscious music to this day. During their tribute, viewers saw the track's Spike Lee-directed music video (the Oscar winner famously requested the song for his classic 1989 film, Do The Right Thing).

The group's award was presented to them by fellow New York rap hero LL Cool J. "The record shows that Public Enemy have fought the power like no other group in history. On stage and off, Public Enemy were an undeniable and fearless force," he said.

During the acceptance speeches, we heard from all four original members Flava Flav, Chuck D, Professor Griff and Terminator X, the latter of whom spoke through the beats with a mini DJ set.

Mickey Smith Jr.

The 2020 Music Educator Award recipient was Smith, a teacher and bandleader at Maplewood Middle School in Sulphur, La., where he's taught for the last 15 years. He delivered a deeply moving, motivational speech, closing with, "To everyone that's watching, you have a sound. Let us be the sound to change the world."

George Augsburger

The 2020 Technical GRAMMY Award went to Augspurger, a longtime acoustician and pioneer in studio and speaker design. After 70 years in the industry, he's still designing custom monitors and studios and teaches a class in loudspeaker design at the University of Southern California. Jam presented the award to Augsburger.

Ken Ehrlich

Ehrlich, a.k.a. the creator of the GRAMMY Moment, produced his first GRAMMYs in 1980. There, the debut GRAMMY Moment happened between Barbra Striesand and Neil Diamond, who sang "You Don't Bring Me Flowers." He's also worked on the Emmys, GRAMMY Tribute specials and other award-winning variety and award shows.

To pay honor to the man behind so much GRAMMY magic, Lauper sang an acoustic version of "Time After Time," noting that it was his favorite song of hers. 

EGOT John Legend exuberantly presented the award to Erlich, explaining how his invitation to perform "All Of Me" on the GRAMMY stage in 2014 helped make the song a hit, his only No. 1 on the Hot 100. Erlich accepted his award with a big smile.

John Prine

Beloved Illinois-born singer/songwriter Prine was set to perform during the show before we sadly lost the folk/Americana hero to COVID-19 in April

To honor him, Nashville power couple Isbell and Shires sang Prine's 1980 song "Storm Windows." Their love for Prine is very personal—Isbell grew up loving his music from a young age and Shires toured with him.

Carlile, meanwhile, performed "I Remember Everything," the beautiful last song he wrote. Before singing, she told a cute story about the first time they performed together and how comforting and kind he was: "He was right, you can always trust John Prine. He also told us the truth with his whole life, and he tells us the truth even today."

Carlile presented Prine's award, which was accepted by his wife, Fiona Prine, who wore an "I am a voter" T-shirt, and sat with their three sons. The family offered appreciation for the award.

Check your local PBS listings to catch the show during an upcoming rerun. PBS members can watch it online and via the PBS Video app for the next four weeks.

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam

Photo: Kevin Mazur/


Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2019 - 04:05 am

Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.

McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award

The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.

"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."

With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.

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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Glenn Danzig

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images


Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion

GRAMMYs/Aug 22, 2017 - 05:28 am

There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.

The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.

This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.

"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."

Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.

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Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes

Lady Gaga

Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images


Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes

GRAMMY winner pledges support for those impacted by hurricanes this year through Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program

GRAMMYs/Oct 12, 2017 - 11:03 pm

On Oct. 10 Lady Gaga announced she is devoting her $1 million donation in support of those impacted by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico and the earthquakes in Mexico, to a specific cause — the mental and emotional well being of children and youth.

Gaga announced on her Born This Way Foundation website she will support Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program, which uses a variety of tools to help young people deal with trauma in the wake of natural disasters.

"Through a curriculum that includes cooperative play, discussion, art, meditation, and mindfulness practices, young people learn to recognize and understand their emotions and develop healthy coping skills," Gaga wrote. "Tens of thousands of youth have benefited from the program since it’s development in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Save the Children is working to bring it to hundreds of thousands more in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico."

The announcement came on World Mental Health Day, and the Fame Monster has invited all of us to step up and consider making a contribution to the Journey of Hope program to support to mental and emotional needs of children.

"Mental health is just as vital to our wellbeing as physical health. That’s true for each of us, everyday, but it’s especially important for those coping with disaster and recovering from trauma," wrote Lady Gaga. "We must do everything within our power to support the full, vibrant recovery of these communities, from meeting their immediate needs to helping them to rebuild sustainably."

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Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards


Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards

Dreamville, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Tyler, The Creator, and YBN Cordae all earn nominations in the category

GRAMMYs/Nov 20, 2019 - 06:28 pm

The 2020 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best Rap Album. While we'll have to wait until the 62nd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Jan. 26 to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for Best Rap Album.

Revenge of the Dreamers III – Dreamville                                                                        

This star-studded compilation album from 11-time GRAMMY nominee J. Cole and his Dreamville Records imprint features appearances from some of the leading and fastest-rising artists in hip-hop today, including label artists EARTHGANG, J.I.D, and Ari Lennox, plus rappers T.I, DaBaby, and Young Nudy, among many others. Recorded in Atlanta across a 10-day recording session, Revenge of the Dreamers III is an ambitious project that saw more than 300 artists and producers contribute to the album, resulting in 142 recorded tracks. Of those recordings, 18 songs made the final album, which ultimately featured contributions from 34 artists and 27 producers.

Dreamers III, the third installment in the label’s Revenge of the Dreamers compilation series, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved gold status this past July. In addition to a Best Rap Album nod, Dreamers III is also nominated for Best Rap Performance next year for album track “Down Bad,” featuring J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, and Young Nudy.

Championships – Meek Mill

In many ways, Championships represents a literal and metaphorical homecoming for Meek Mill. Released in November 2018, Championships is the Philadelphia rapper’s first artist album following a two-year prison sentence he served after violating his parole in 2017. Championships, naturally, sees Meek tackling social justice issues stemming from his prison experience, including criminal justice reform. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his second chart-topper following 2015’s Dreams Worth More Than Money, and reached platinum status in June 2019. Meek Mill's 2020 Best Rap Album nod marks his first-ever GRAMMY nomination.

i am > i was – 21 Savage

Breakout rapper and four-time GRAMMY nominee 21 Savage dropped i am > i was, his second solo artist album, at the end of 2018. The guest-heavy album, which features contributions from Post Malone, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and many others, has since charted around the world, topped the Billboard 200 – a first for the artist – in the beginning of 2019, and achieved gold status in the U.S. As well, nine songs out of the album’s 15 original tracks landed on the Hot 100 chart, including multi-platinum lead single “A Lot,” which is also nominated for Best Rap Song next year. 21 Savage’s 2020 Best Rap Album nomination, which follows Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance nods for his 2017 Post Malone collaboration, "Rockstar,” marks his first solo recognition in the top rap category.

IGOR – Tyler, The Creator

The eccentric Tyler, The Creator kicked off a massive 2019 with his mid-year album, IGOR. Released this past May, IGOR, Tyler’s fifth solo artist album, is his most commercially successful project to date. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking his first time topping the coveted chart, while its lead single, "Earfquake,” peaked at No. 13, his highest entry on the Hot 100. Produced in full by Tyler and featuring guest spots from fellow rap and R&B stars Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, and Playboi Carti, among many others, IGOR follows the rapper’s 2017 album, Flower Boy, which received the Best Rap Album nod that same year.

The Lost Boy – YBN Cordae

Emerging rapper YBN Cordae, a member of the breakout YBN rap collective, released his debut album, The Lost Boy, to widespread critical acclaim this past July. The 15-track release is stacked with major collaborations with hip-hop heavyweights, including Anderson .Paak, Pusha T, Meek Mill, and others, plus production work from J. Cole and vocals from Quincy Jones. After peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, The Lost Boy now notches two 2020 GRAMMY nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for album track “Bad Idea,” featuring Chance the Rapper.