The Recording Academy® to Honor 2016 Special Merit Awards Recipients with New Television Special “GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends®” as Part of Landmark “Great Performances” Series on PBS

Awards Ceremony and Tribute Concert to Take Place Saturday, April 23,
2016 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles

Recording Academy
will honor its 2016
Special Merit Awards
recipients with an awards ceremony and live
tribute concert on Saturday, April 23, 2016 at The Dolby Theater
in Los Angeles. Dubbed “GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends,” the
event will be produced in partnership with THIRTEEN as part of the “Great
series on PBS, set to air later this year. Led by
music industry icon Don Was as musical director, the tribute concert
will feature rare performances by honorees and never-seen renditions by
those they’ve inspired. Tickets for the event will be on sale via Ticketmaster
beginning Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 10:00 am PST.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award honorees include Ruth Brown,
Celia Cruz, Earth, Wind & Fire, Herbie Hancock, Jefferson
, Linda Ronstadt, and RUN DMC. John Cage,
Fred Foster, and Chris Strachwitz are Trustees Award
honorees; and EMT and Dr. Harvey Fletcher are Technical
® Award recipients. Also being
honored is Phillip Riggs, this year’s recipient of the GRAMMY
Foundation Music Educator Award
. Performers will be announced

Previously held during GRAMMY Week, this is the first time that The
Recording Academy has celebrated the Special Merit Awards with a
stand-alone event and musical tribute. In addition to the tribute
concert, special celebrity guests will present recipients their award
statues and guests will enjoy never-before-seen video packages
celebrating each of the honorees’ contributions to the music industry
and our cultural heritage.

“For many years now, we’ve wanted to honor Special Merit Awards
recipients on a larger scale with an event like ‘GRAMMY Salute to Music
Legends,’ so I’m delighted to partner with THIRTEEN Productions and PBS
to bring this worthy celebration to a bigger stage,” said Neil Portnow,
President/CEO of The Recording Academy. “The contributions of our
honorees are innumerable, and we look forward to an unforgettable
evening as we pay tribute to their exceptional accomplishments.”

A production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, “GRAMMY Salute to
Music Legends” will be written by David Wild and directed for television
by David Horn, with Mitch Owgang as producer, and David Horn and Neil
Portnow as executive producers.

The Lifetime Achievement Award honors performers who have made
contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of
recording, while the Trustees Award recognizes such contributions in
areas other than performance. Both awards are determined by vote of The
Recording Academy’s National Board of Trustees. Technical GRAMMY Award
recipients are determined by vote of The Academy’s Producers & Engineers
Wing® Advisory Council and Chapter Committees, and are
ratified by The Academy’s Trustees. The award is presented to
individuals and companies who have made contributions of outstanding
technical significance to the recording field.

About the Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees:

Ruth Brown* began her musical career in the church choir at the
tender age of 4. A singer/songwriter, record producer, composer, and
actress noted for bringing a pop music style to R&B music, Brown became
one of the undisputed architects of the genre. She recorded a number of
hit songs, including “I’ll Wait For You,” “I Know,” “5-10-15 Hours,” and
“Mambo Baby.” She later went on to have a successful theater career.

Celia Cruz* was one of the most popular salsa
singers and performers in history. Known internationally as the “Queen
of Salsa,” the CubanAmerican
Cruz was a larger-than life-personality. She recorded 23 gold albums and
was a recipient of the United States National
Medal of Arts
. Cruz received three GRAMMY Awards and four Latin
GRAMMY Awards.

Six-time GRAMMY winners Earth, Wind & Fire were one of
the most important and innovative contemporary pop/R&B musical forces of
the 20th century. Members Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, Johnny Graham,
Ralph Johnson, Al McKay, Fred White, Maurice White*, Verdine White, and
Andrew Woolfolk built the group’s distinctive signature sound, which has
remained profoundly influential. Successfully breaking down all musical
genre boundaries since forming in 1969, they recorded seven #1 R&B
singles and eight Top 10 pop albums. Earth Wind & Fire earned more than
50 gold and platinum album certifications and more than 90 million
albums worldwide, placing them on the list of best-selling musical
artists of all time.

One of the most revered and idiosyncratic figures in jazz, Herbie
has been at the forefront almost every development in
electronic and acoustic jazz and R&B. A stylistically diverse and
ever-intriguing canon of songs, including “Maiden Voyage” and “Rockit,”
has helped earn him 14 GRAMMY Awards during his impressive
five-decade-plus professional solo career.

Marty Balin, Jack Casady, Spencer Dryden*, Paul Kantner*, Jorma
Kaukonen, and Grace Slick comprised Jefferson Airplane, pioneers
of counterculture-era psychedelic rock. Emerging from the San Francisco
scene to achieve international mainstream success, performing at the
three most famous American rock festivals of the 1960s —
Monterey (1967), Woodstock (1969), and Altamont (1969). Their 1967 album Surrealistic
 is regarded as one of the key recordings of the “Summer of
Love.” Two hits from that album, “Somebody To Love” and “White
Rabbit,” are among Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest
Songs of All Time.”

With roots in the Los Angeles country and folk-rock scenes, Linda
is one of the most popular interpretive singers of all
time, earning a string of platinum-selling albums and Top 40 singles.
Throughout the 1970s, her laid-back pop never lost sight of her folky
roots, yet as Ronstadt moved into the 1980s, she began to change her
sound with the times, adding new wave influences. Her later years saw
the 10-time GRAMMY winner exploring traditional pop, Latin, and musical

RUN DMC, comprising of Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Jason “Jam Master
Jay” Mizell*, and Joseph “Reverend Run” Simmons, were one of the most
influential and best-known acts in the history of rap. They were the
first group in the genre to have a gold album (RUN DMC.,
1984) and to be nominated for a GRAMMY Award. They were
also the first hip-hop group to earn a platinum record (King
Of Rock
, 1985), and the first to earn multiplatinum certification (Raising
, 1986).

About the Trustees Award Honorees:

John Cage* was an avant-garde composer whose inventive works and
unorthodox ideas profoundly influenced the entire music industry. His
innovative ideas on composition and performance influenced a broad
spectrum of artists including fellow musicians, dancers, choreographers,
painters and more. Cage remained on the leading edge of both playful and
profound experimentalism for the greater part of his career. One of
Cage’s best-known and most sonically intriguing innovations, the
prepared piano, has become an almost commonplace compositional resource.

Music entrepreneur Fred Foster contributed a great deal to the
Nashville music scene of the 1960s and 1970s as a producer and as the
head of one of the city’s strongest independent labels, Monument
Records. He is best known for producing many classic hits by Roy
Orbison. He also played a vital role in the career of Kris
Kristofferson, and worked with Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Ray Stevens,
among others. From 1960 to 1964, Foster produced the overwhelming bulk
of hit songs with which Orbison is associated: “Only The Lonely,” “In
Dreams,” “Running Scared,” “Blue Bayou,” “Blue Angel,” “Dream Baby,”
“Crying,” “Candy Man,” “Mean Woman Blues,” “It’s Over,” and “Oh, Pretty

Chris Strachwitz has made his living celebrating the music he
loves – music that forms the fabric of both American and international
culture. He is the founder of Arhoolie Records and produces much of the
content he releases. To blues fans he is a legend, releasing seminal
works by Mississippi Fred McDowell, Mance Lipscomb, Charlie Musselwhite,
Rebirth Brass Band, Big Joe Williams, Big Mama Thornton, Lightnin’
Hopkins, Earl Hooker, and Elizabeth Cotten, and many others. Strachwitz
also produces Cajun music, highlighted by his releases by Clifton
Chenier, and also focused on Mexican recordings, especially Norteño

About the Technical GRAMMY Award Recipients:

Known as the father of stereophonic sound, Dr. Harvey Fletcher*
was a prominent physicist, credited with inventing the hearing aid and
the first audiometer. Through his research, he was able to document and
demonstrate the spatial effects of sound, which he called auditory
perspective, or stereo. However, it was his profound interest in music
that led Fletcher to partner with Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia
Orchestra, and this collaboration produced more than 100 stereo
recordings. In his tests, listeners were often unable to distinguish the
difference between the live orchestra and the recordings.

EMT (Elektro-Mess-Technik) was founded in Berlin in 1940,
originally manufacturing high-end pro measuring devices and turntables
for broadcast, television, and recording studios. In 1957, the company
made a huge breakthrough with the release of the EMT 140 Reverberation
Unit — the first plate reverb. Upon its introduction, the EMT 140
Reverberation Unit quickly garnered popularity, providing a smoother
substitute to spring reverb systems, simplifying the process of
affecting recorded sound while providing the engineer with a more
versatile and customizable interface than acoustic chambers. With the
plates’ introduction, the sound of popular music changed dramatically as
evident in English recordings made at Abbey Road by the Beatles and Pink
Floyd, as well as RCA Victor recordings by Nashville’s Chet Atkins and
many others.

*Denotes posthumous award

About The Recording Academy

Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of
musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers, and recording
professionals dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality
of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY
Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and
the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible
for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment,
advocacy, education, and human services programs. The Academy continues
to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating
for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an
indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy,
please visit
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