"How do you top the milestone of a 60th anniversary?" asked Recording Academy president Neil Portnow during tonight's 60th annual Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden. "You do it in New York City."
Portnow took the stage more than three hours into the event, held in his hometown city for the first time in 15 years. "What does 60 years of excellence look like?" he asked -- 9,000 Grammy Awards given out; a MusiCares organization that has provided $50 million in aid to more than 25,000 people and addiction support and recovery services to musicians across the world; a Grammy Museum that has welcomed more than 5 million visitors at its locations and pop-up spots around the country; and aa Grammy Music Education Coalition dedicated to providing access to music programs to every student in the country.
"The Academy's work on Capitol Hill is the largest grassroots movement in music history," he said, adding, "We're working closely with Congress to pass comprehensive music licensing reform," noting that he testified himself on Capitol Hill two days prior alongside Aloe Blacc and others.
"It's the work we do year-round that supports the amazing artists you've seen here tonight and over the last 60 years," Portnow said in summation. "We're proud of the 60 years we''re celebrating tonight, and eagerly await what the next 60 years hold in store for the Academy, and for us, together."