Gram­mys to honor Nina Si­mone, Vel­vet Un­der­ground

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Leg­endary singer Nina Si­mone, art-rock pi­o­neers The Vel­vet Un­der­ground and funk great Sly Stone will re­ceive Grammy Life­time Achieve­ment Awards in 2017, the Record­ing Academy an­nounced Mon­day. The mu­sic in­dus­try body each year presents the spe­cial prizes for ca­reer-span­ning in­flu­ence, in ad­di­tion to the reg­u­lar Gram­mys which rec­og­nize the past year's works. Si­mone-who never re­ceived a Grammy dur­ing her life­time-was a young pi­ano prodigy who, as an African Amer­i­can in the seg­re­gated US South, was dis­cour­aged from clas­si­cal mu­sic.

She be­came one of the most cel­e­brated singers of soul and a staunch civil rights ac­tivist, with clas­sic tracks such as "To Be Young, Gifted and Black." The Vel­vet Un­der­ground, led by John Cale and the late Lou Reed, rev­o­lu­tion­ized rock mu­sic by bring­ing an aes­thetic from avant-garde art. The band's 1967 de­but al­bum, "The Vel­vet Un­der­ground and Nico," was pro­duced by Andy Warhol and ex­plored drugs and sex­ual fetishism in ways then un­think­able for main­stream pop acts. Sly Stone, lead­ing Sly and the Fam­ily Stone, brought a new psy­che­delic vibe to funk mu­sic. He be­came a ma­jor in­flu­ence on later artists, no­tably Prince.

Also win­ning the Grammy Life­time Achieve­ment Award are "First Lady of Gospel Mu­sic" Shirley Cae­sar and leg­endary pi­anist Ah­mad Ja­mal, who helped bring a greater pop au­di­ence to jazz. The other re­cip­i­ents are Charley Pride, the for­mer base­ball player who is the first African Amer­i­can to achieve suc­cess in white-dom­i­nated coun­try mu­sic, and Jim­mie Rodgers, who helped set the foun­da­tions of coun­try be­fore dy­ing at age 35 in 1933. The main gala of the Gram­mys takes place on Fe­bru­ary 12 in Los Angeles, with pop su­per­star Beyonce lead­ing in nom­i­na­tions. — AFP

This file photo shows US funk, soul and rock band ‘Sly (front) and the Fam­ily Stone’ per­form on the Olympia mu­sic hall stage, in Paris. — AFP photos

This file photo shows leg­endary jazz and blues singer Nina Si­mone in con­cert at the Olympia mu­sic hall in Paris.

This file photo shows US singer Lou Reed per­form­ing on stage at the “Casino de Paris” in Paris.

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