The Recording Academy has announced the honorees for its 2021 Special Merit Awards. Celebrating performers who have made outstanding contributions of artistic significance to the field of recording, the Recording Academy’s National Board of Trustees have selected the late Mexican-American Tejano legend and Grammy-winner Selena to be among the honorees of the Lifetime Achievement Award for the 2021 GRAMMY Awards.
The Lifetime Achievement Award honorees include the first all-female rap group Salt-N-Pepa and the South Bronx natives and hip-hop pioneers Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. Late jazz icon Lionel Hampton will also receive the honor, along with the prolific opera singer Marilyn Horne and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers the Talking Heads.
“As we welcome the new class of Special Merit Award honorees, it gives us a chance to reward and recognize the influence they’ve had in the music community regardless of genre,” said Harvey Mason jr., Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy. “As a music creator and music lover, I am grateful that we are able to look back at our influences and see the impact that they have made on our community. In a year where music has helped keep us together, I look forward to honoring this iconic group of music creators.”
The Recording Academy also announced the recipients of the Trustees Award, which includes the late and one of the most sought-after engineers in the industry and founder of the Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing, Ed Cherney. The four-time Grammy-winner recorded, mixed, and engineered albums for big-name artists that include Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones, among others. Benny Golson, an international jazz legend who composed and arrange music for artists such as John Coltraine, Dizzy Gillespie, and Lionel Hampton, will also receive the Trustees Award. The 11-time Grammy-winning producer, recording artist, and label owner Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds join the recipients of this category. Edmonds has been instrumental in the careers of artists such as Toni Braxton, Usher, and TLC.
Digital technology pioneer Daniel Weiss will be honored with the Technical Grammy Award for his efforts in designing and manufacturing groundbreaking digital audio equipment for mastering studios, digital mixing consoles, and more.
The honorees will be recognized at the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards held on January 31, 2021. Given the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, more details about the special award presentation event will be announced at a later date.