Linda Ronstadt Earns Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award
Linda Ronstadt has been announced as a recipient of a 2016 Special Merit Award from the Recording Academy. The singer will receive one of the Academy's Lifetime Achievement Awards.
As part of the Grammy Awards, Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Awards acknowledge artists who have made a significant contribution the musical culture and industry. Ronstadt's fellow 2016 honorees include Earth, Wind & Fire, Herbie Hancock, Jefferson Airplane, Run-D.M.C., Ruth Brown and Celia Cruz. The group will be honored during a special ceremony and concert later this spring, with details yet to be announced.
"Each year, the Academy has the distinct privilege of honoring those who have greatly contributed to our industry and cultural heritage, and this year, we have a gifted and brilliant group of honorees," Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow says. "Their exceptional accomplishments, contributions and artistry will continue to influence and inspire generations to come."
Ronstadt released her first album, Hand Sown ... Home Grown, in 1969. In the years since, she's become an inspiration to numerous other artists -- including Trisha Yearwood.
"[She] was kind of the queen of rock ‘n’ roll in the ‘70s, but she had steel guitar and fiddles on her records, and she had a really big voice," Yearwood says. "I was always drawn to female singers that had really big, strong voices ... So when I heard Linda Ronstadt, I thought, ‘That’s what I want to do.'"
Ronstadt, who is battling Parkison’s disease, hasn't released a solo album since 2004's Hummin' to Myself, but some new music may be coming soon: Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton have plans to release a follow-up project to their 1987 Trio record. The project will feature material from previous recording sessions that they felt was too good to keep in the vault.
“We had a lot of outtakes,” Harris says. “I didn’t realize how many ... And it is some pretty great stuff. I go back and say, ‘Damn, we sounded good. Why didn’t we put that one on there?'”