The music industry’s biggest night will pay homage to its recently lost icons Prince and George Michael at this Sunday’s 59th Grammy Awards. The beloved musicians, both Grammy winners, will each receive a tribute segment during the festivities, hosted by late night host James Corden.
“George Michael and Prince were pop icons who showcased rare musical genius and otherworldly charisma,” said Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy. “While each possessed a distinct style and sound, they were both adored by audiences worldwide. The passings of two such creative innovators were a huge loss for the creative community; the Recording Academy is humbled to pay homage to their tremendous legacies on the Grammy stage.”
Prince’s Grammy breakthrough was at the 27th awards, when he won his first three career Grammys for best rock performance by a duo or group with vocal (with the Revolution), best album of original score written for a film or TV special (for “Purple Rain”) and best R&B song for “I Feel For You.” He later won best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocal for his 1986 hit “Kiss” and for “Future Baby Mama,” he won the best male R&B vocal performance. His legacy was solidified further after three of his albums were inducted into the hall of fame: “1999,” “Purple Rain” and “Sign O’ The Times.” Prince died last April.
George Michael was first honored with a Grammy nomination for Wham’s 1984 “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” in contention for best pop performance by a duo or group with vocal. His first career Grammy came in 1987 for best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocal for his “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” duet with Aretha Franklin. The following year, Michael’s “Faith” won the coveted album of the year award. George Michael died in December.
Last year, Lady Gaga paid tribute to David Bowie with a medley performance, dressed in a snazzy white suit and bright red hair. Past years have also seen Glenn Frey honored by the Eagles with Jackson Browne, Etta James by Bonnie Raitt and Alicia Keys, and Whitney Houston by Jennifer Hudson.
The Recording Academy previously announced performances by Adele, Kelsea Ballerini, William Bell, Chance The Rapper, Gary Clark Jr., Daft Punk, Andra Day, Cynthia Erivo, Tori Kelly, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Little Big Town, Demi Lovato, Lukas Graham, Bruno Mars, Metallica, Maren Morris, Anderson .Paak, Katy Perry, Sturgill Simpson, a Tribe Called Quest, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, and The Weeknd.
The 59th Annual Grammy Awards will be filmed at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and broadcast live on CBS Feb. 12.
AEG Ehrlich Ventures will produce the show for The Recording Academy. Ken Ehrlich is executive producer, Louis J. Horvitz is director, Ben Winston is a producer, and David Wild and Ehrlich are the writers.