The Recording Academy Plans PBS Special For Special Merit Honorees

The Recording Academy

The Recording Academy will honor its 2016 Special Merit Awards recipients with an awards ceremony and live tribute concert on Saturday, April 23, at The Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.

Titled Grammy Salute to Music Legends, the event will be produced in partnership with THIRTEEN as part of the Great Performances 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 renditions by those they’ve inspired. Performers will be announced at a later date.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award honorees include Ruth Brown, Celia Cruz, Earth, Wind & Fire, Herbie Hancock, Jefferson Airplane, Linda Ronstadt, and RUN DMC. Composer John Cage, pioneering country music executive Fred Foster, and Arhoolie Records founder Chris Strachwitz are Trustees Award honorees; and EMT and Dr. Harvey Fletcher are Technical Grammy Award recipients. Also being honored is Phillip Riggs, this year’s recipient of the Grammy Foundation Music Educator Award.

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.

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