John Prine Earns Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
John Prine will be awarded with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020. The folk singer-songwriter and Americana favorite is among the Recording Academy's 2020 class of Special Merit Awards honorees, the organization announced on Thursday (Dec. 19).
"Our industry is one that prides itself on influence and paying it forward, and each year the Recording Academy has the privilege of honoring a select group of visionaries whose creative contributions have rippled throughout our culture," says Recording Academy President and CEO Deborah Dugan. "Our Special Merit Awards recipients have molded their musical passion into pieces of history that will continue to influence and inspire generations of music creators and music lovers to come."
Prine began his career in the early 1970s, after moving to Chicago, Ill.; while working as a mailman, the artist wrote songs and played open mic events on the side. A few of his early career classics include "Sam Stone" and "Angel From Montgomery," made famous by Bonnie Raitt. In the 1980s, Prine formed his own record label, Oh Boy Records. His 1999 album In Spite of Ourselves -- a collection of duets on classic country songs with female artists including Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams and others -- remains a favorite.
In the late 1990s, Prine battled squamous cell cancer, and required speech therapy in order to fully recuperate; however, the operation left his voice more gravelly than before. Prine also fought lung cancer in 2013.
A Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and Grammy Hall of Fame inductee, Prine released his most recent album, The Tree of Forgiveness, in 2018. That album, along with 2016's For Better, or Worse helped introduce a new generation of fans to Prine's music, and resulted in critical acclaim, especially in the Americana music world.
In addition to Prine, 2020's Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipients are the rock band Chicago; jazz, soul and R&B singer Roberta Flack; soul pioneer Isaac Hayes; punk rocker Iggy Pop; iconic hip-hop group Public Enemy; and gospel and blues legend Sister Rosetta Tharpe. The Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award honor "celebrates performers who have made outstanding contributions of artistic significance to the field of recording," and its recipients are determined by the organization's Board of Trustees.
Prine and his fellow Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipients will be honored at a special event on April 18 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in California. Further details of the event will be announced at a later date.
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