The recording academy will pay tribute to this year’s lifetime achievement honorees with a concert at New York’s Beacon Theater on July 11. Each of the six artists being feted are — Shirley Caesar, Ahmad Jamal, Charley Pride, Jimmie Rodgers, Nina Simone, Sly Stone, and the Velvet Underground — will be honored by others whom they have inspired.
One-time “Late Show with David Letterman” band leader Paul Shaffer will serve as the musical director. Among those slated to take part are Andra Day, who will be honoring Simone; Kirk Franklin, who will pay tribute to Caesar; and two-time Grammy winner Dwight Yoakam, who will salute Rodgers.
This marks the second year of this televised tribute, which will been on PBS later this year as part of the Emmy-winning “Great Performances” series. The recording academy used to salute its lifetime honorees as part of the week leading up to the Grammy Awards in February. By shifting this to a different time of the year, the spotlight shines stronger on those being feted, much as is the case with the Oscars and the Governors Awards, which are held in November.