Black Sabbath, George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic, Billy Eckstine, Donny Hathaway, Julio Iglesias, Sam & Dave and Dionne Warwick will receive Lifetime Achievement Grammy Awards, the Recording Academy announced today. It also announced that impresario Lou Adler, legendary songwriting and performing duo Ashford & Simpson, and Oscar-winning songwriter and arranger Johnny Mandel are Trustees Award honorees; and Saul Walker is the Technical GRAMMY Award recipient.
A special award presentation ceremony and concert celebrating the honorees will be held on May 11, 2019, in Los Angeles. Additional details regarding the ceremony will be announced in the coming weeks.
From the top, England’s Black Sabbath are viewed by many as the greatest and first true heavy metal band. George Clinton and his extended Parliament-Funkadelic groups reinvented funk in the 1970s and, with James Brown, laid the foundation for hip-hop as DJs and producers took countless thousands of samples from their songs. Singer Billy Eckstine helped break ground for African-American artists in the ’40s and ’50s as a distinctive jazz singer and bandleader, and crossed over to an equally illustrious career in pop. Legendary soul singer Donny Hathaway released both protest songs and smooth, signature duets with the likes of Roberta Flack during his brief career. Julio Iglesias was one of the most successful Latin artists to cross over into pop, and soul men Sam & Dave (Sam Moore and Dave Prater) were a cornerstone of the classic soul labels of the 1960s and 1970s, Stax and Atlantic. And Dionne Warwick, particularly on the hits written for her during the 1960s by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, brought a remarkably and seemingly effortless finesse to their elaborate and sophisticated melodies; she was in many ways their ultimate singer.
Of the Trustees, Lou Adler is one of modern music’s greatest impresarios: He was an organizer of the pivotal 1967 Monterey Pop Festival (which helped launch the careers of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Jefferson Airplane and others); he managed the Mamas and the Papas; he founded Ode Records and produced Carole King’s 1971 album “Tapestry” (which was the biggest-selling album in history at the time); and cofounded Los Angeles’ iconic Roxy Theatre, among many other achievements. Valerie Simpson and the late Nikolas Ashford were an elite songwriting team at Motown Records, penning classics such as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “You’re All I Need To Get By,” and later had a highly successful singing career of their own, which peaked with their 1985 hit “Solid.” Johnny Mandel is a versatile composer, arranger, producer and jazz musician who played trumpet in the bands of Jimmy Dorsey and Count Basie, cowrote such film and television hits as “Emily,” “The Shadow of Your Smile” and the theme from “M*A*S*H,” “Suicide Is Painless,” and is widely recognized as one of the greatest arrangers of the past 75 years, with credits including Natalie Cole, Diana Krall, Barbra Streisand, Willie Nelson and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and “Off the Wall.”
Saul Walker was a career-long audio innovator, teacher and mentor. From his early work in rocket telemetry to founding API in 1969, his designs continue to influence the music recording industry.