*In a long overdue move, the Recording Academy has announced it will honor legendary singer Nina Simone with a posthumous lifetime achievement award during its 2017 Special Merit Awards ceremony.
Gospel great Shirley Caesar, jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal, experimental rockers the Velvet Underground, funk icon Sly Stone, country superstar Charley Pride, and seminal country singer Jimmie Rodgers are also among the 2017 lifetime achievement award honorees.
“This year’s Special Merit Awards recipients comprise a prestigious group of diverse and influential creators who have crafted or contributed to some of the most distinctive recordings in music history,” Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy, said in a statement Monday.
“These exceptionally inspiring figures are being honored as legendary performers, creative architects, and technical visionaries,” Portnow said in the same statement. “Their outstanding accomplishments and passion for their respective crafts have created a timeless legacy.”
This Special Merit Award is presented by vote of The Recording Academy’s National Trustees to those who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording.