Nirvana, The Supremes, Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson, Nile Rodgers and Slick Rick are among the Recording Academy’s 2023 lifetime achievement award recipients. The awards will be presented at the Special Merit Awards ceremony, which will be held Feb. 4 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles. It’s the first time the ceremony has been held since 2020, owing to the pandemic.
The Supremes are being honored a decade after Diana Ross received a lifetime achievement award. The only other artists to receive separate lifetime achievement awards as a solo artist and as part of a group are Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison (solo and with The Beatles) and Pete Seeger (solo and with The Weavers).
Ross is also a 2023 Grammy nominee for best traditional pop vocal album for Thank You. This is her 13th nomination. Amazingly, she has yet to win a Grammy in competition, either solo or with The Supremes. Rodgers is also a 2023 Grammy nominee. He’s up for album of the year for his work on Beyoncé’s Renaissance and best R&B song for co-writing Bey’s current hit “Cuff It.”
The Special Merit Awards ceremony will celebrate seven lifetime achievement award recipients, three Trustees Award recipients, two technical Grammy Award recipients and the inaugural recipient of the best song for social change award. All but the recipient of that latter award were announced Thursday (Jan 5).
“The Academy is proud to celebrate this diverse slate of influential music people spanning numerous genres and crafts as our 2023 Special Merit Awards honorees,” Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, said in a statement. “Each creator on this list has made an impact on our industry — from technical to creative achievements — representing the breadth of music’s diverse community. We’re excited to celebrate this group of legends next month that continues to inspire and shape the music world.”
The lifetime achievement award is presented to performers who have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording. The Trustees Award is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions, other than performance, to the field of recording. The Technical Grammy Award is presented to individuals and/or companies/organizations/institutions who have made contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field.
Here’s the complete list of 2023 Special Merit Award honorees: