Pioneering hip-hop trio Run–D.M.C., multi-faceted jazz pianist Herbie Hancock and the leading proponent of ’60s San Francisco psychedelia Jefferson Airplane have been announced as Lifetime Achievement Award honorees by the Recording Academy. Also being honored with the career kudo are pop/R&B stalwarts Earth, Wind & Fire, folk-rock chanteuse Linda Ronstadt, singer-songwriter Ruth Brown and salsa queen Celia Cruz. Run–D.M.C. would be the first rap group to receive such an honor.
According to the Academy, the Lifetime Achievement Award “honors performers who have made contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording.” Past recipients have been Wayne Shorter, the Bee Gees and the recently departed Pierre Boulez (2015), as well as the Beatles (2014), Carole King (2013) and the Allman Brothers Band (2012).
“Each year, The Academy has the distinct privilege of honoring those who have greatly contributed to our industry and cultural heritage, and this year we have a gifted and brilliant group of honorees,” said Neil Portnow, president/CEO of the Recording Academy, in a statement. “Their exceptional accomplishments, contributions and artistry will continue to influence and inspire generations to come.”
Also announced were that avant-garde composer John Cage, Nashville producer and label head Fred Foster and Arhoolie Records founder Chris Strachwitz are being given the Trustees Award; while EMT (Elektro-mess-technik), known for manufacturing the EMT 140 Reverberation Unit, the first plate reverb, and Dr. Harvey Fletcher, known as “the father of stereophonic sound,” are Technical Grammy Award recipients, which recognize “individuals and companies who have made contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field.”
All will be saluted at a ceremony and concert that will be held in the spring, details of which will be announced in the coming weeks.