Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award

Few performers managed to capture the spirit of an era as effectively as Cab Calloway did during the Great Depression — when he stationed himself on the frontlines of the battle against the darkening mood of the time. An illustrious stint at New York’s Cotton Club kicked the scat-singing, wisecrack-winging Calloway’s career into high gear — and led him to Hollywood (where his voice was employed in a slew of Betty Boop shorts, notably one in which his theme “Minnie the Moocher” reached the silver screen) and NBC radio (on which he broke the broadcast network color barrier). His wizened hipster persona only grew more durable as the years wore on, making him a mainstay on stage and screen — and earning him a 1999 induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame, thanks to the perennial popularity of that “red hot hoochie coocher.”

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